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Day 8: There is No Place Like Home

To be honest, I kind of wanted to go home. I felt sort of like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz at the end, where she wants more than anything else to go home. But it’s a bittersweet goodbye because she has to say goodbye to all of the friends she met and grew connections with. Also I knew that back home I wouldn’t be as relaxed and I was, afraid that my truly ambitious thoughts on faith would decrease. But like Dorothy my mind was fighting itself. In a few hours I would be on a van heading home. My shoes would click together three times and I could see myself right there in a bed, half passed out and half alive watching television. It was so close and this feeling was one that I couldn’t shake.

I had promised myself that back home I would be more organized, that I would partake in leadership and better organizational skills, that I would start my own service program by finding from the borough first where our community needs help. And best of all that I would continue to increase my faith and better myself physically and mentally. All of this I knew was possible with God at my side. And I am proud to say so far I have accomplished most of what my mission was.

We went to Ford Field one last time that morning, all of our stuff was already packed into the vans from earlier thanks to Moses. At the field there was prayer and music, offering and reflection. During communion we took bread, and drank of Christ’s blood. A man etched with holy ointment a cross on our foreheads. “Child of God”, he said, “remember your Baptism and fulfill all that God has called you to do.” After that we sang some more, Agape joined the House Band on stage, he looked older than I had last remembered him. When it was all done, we walked to where our van had been and headed home.

The drive was long and a little boring. But all of us had been tired. Half slept again, and Cheyenne got us into playing this license plate game. That’s when one knows the vibe is one of complete tiredness and fatigue, no one really wanted to do anything. “There’s a N for Nebraska”, she would mutter. David and I joined her and we played along. We never did get to Z I believe. About 3 hours until home we stopped at a Eat’ N Park. I missed there smiley face sugar cookies and hadn’t had some for 9 years but as a toddler I would devour those thing. We each had a chance to have at least two. We ate dinner there. Outside there was a model of an elephant named Jackson, so of course I took pictures with my gray skinned friend.

Then back on the road we talked a lot more. There was even someone from our van who could impersonate a grandmother, it was funny but really strange. And Danny had a funny comic relief moment that he repeated during the entire trip. He joked that the only colors one would find outside were green and brown and how interesting those colors were. It’s true that on the road those are the only likely colors you’ll see, at least in Pennsylvania.

The van pulled up into the St. Paul’s parking lot. It was ten at night. We were all almost asleep, but we unloaded the vans and said goodbye. Our parents had been waiting for us, they hugged there children and smiled. In a matter of seconds, they would want their children back in the heart of Detroit. Some of them would any way.

Things weren’t the same back at home. My cat had died while I was away, and part of our house had felt empty. She was missing from it. The dog was elated to see us but even I could tell she missed Callie too. I went right upstairs that night. And I fell asleep after changing into pajamas. Usually the cat would snuggle up next to me. Her hair still was spread over my covers. I fell right away into a deep sleep. And I dreamed all night until the sun rose the next morning. I dreamed of her and knew that she was okay. In fact, better than okay. Someone had told me from high above. As I breathed slowly, I smiled as I rolled gently in bed and my mind blacked out into a pit of peace.

In Memory of Callie, a beloved calico cat and faithful friend, who showed compassion to those when they needed it most.

(2003-2015)

 

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