Thursday, April 18, 2013

Those Places Thursday: You can never go home again

I never fully understood the meaning of 'You can never go home again' although I had heard it my entire life. I got the full gist of this a few months ago.

It has almost been 5 years since he passed away. Sometimes without thinking I tell myself, I'm going to drive over and see Daddy today. I had one of those days last fall. I had heard an old '70s song that brought back a flood of memories. My husband was working in the garage so I decided to put the top down on the Jeep and put Annabelle the Westie in her car seat and hit the road. Before I left I loaded songs on my iPhone that reminded me of 'back in the day'. We took a 30 minute Jeep ride to where my Daddy lived his entire life.

As I was coming upon the area, it seemed strange to me that this once busy neighborhood street was desolate. I didn't pass a car or a person. If you have seen Fried Green Tomatoes, it was like when Idgie went home and there was nothing there but abandoned buildings and overgrown yards.

I drove by my Grandma's old house where she lived up until she passed away 6 years ago. The house that Daddy grew up in was torn down and Grandma built a new one maybe 20 years ago. Even though there was a newer house there, the yard was the same. I pictured it the way it was 40 years ago. I remember my uncle's had their hot rods out front, I can remember my Grandpa butchering a hog in the free standing garage. I could even smell the dusty old house and hear the doors creak.

Just around the block was my Daddy's newer shop he built about 20 years ago and my Brother now owns. I drove slowly by and got a sad feeling. I remember Daddy being less mobile while he was at this new shop, it didn't feel like home. I then drove around another block back towards Grandma's to where Daddy first started his business in 1976. It is a small metal building where he worked so hard day, night and weekends. I parked in the drive way and just looked around remembering so many things. I kind of got a feeling that Daddy was still there. I felt tears well up so I figured it was time to move along.

Daddy is buried not too far from his old neighborhood but I just couldn't quite manage to go by. Not today. I was missing him too much and I wanted to get a sense of him, not where he is buried.

After driving by my childhood home, Daddy's childhood home and his old stomping ground, I was still left empty. I enjoyed the flood of childhood memories and could almost hear Daddy talking to me when I was little, it just wasn't enough.

Yesterday I fully understood the meaning of 'Those Places Thursday'.


  1. What a tender remembrance of your dad. I can totally understand not wanting to go to the cemetery on a trip like this. Sometimes, it is more valuable to remember someone as one of the living, rather than as one of the dead. And you seem to have a lot to remember. Keep those memories alive!

    I found your blog today, thanks to GeneaBloggers. I enjoyed stopping by and sharing that moment with you, and look forward to reading more. Best wishes as you continue your blogging journey--as well as your path to genealogy certification!

  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers! This is a great blogging community. I've been a member for about seven months. Maybe we should follow each other.

    Regards, Grant

  3. What a special daddy you must of had! When I have driven by our old homes,I try only to remember my Mom and my siblings. Flashes of my father, his meanness, his drunken abuse of all of us. I try so hard to forget those. Flashes of my childhood haunt me everyday! Great post, but brought tears to my eyes and heart. <3

  4. Your post brought tears for me, too. I know exactly what is meant by "you can never go home again". My daddy died alone on 9 Dec 2013. I wasn't able to be there because we live a thousand miles away from where I grew up and my husband was in the hospital when my daddy got sick. Shortly after my daddy died, the home that I was raised in was destroyed by a tornado. There's nothing but memories to go home to - good ones and bad ones.

    Thank you for sharing your heart for your daddy with us. I can tell you really loved your daddy, just as I love mine, warts and all as they say.

    I found you via Geneabloggers. Best wishes to you as you honor your family by sharing the memories.