One of the most important things learned during the trip home was the support that can be received from friends and family, even when they are not necessarily aware of what is going on. There were several times during that trip home that I was extremely grateful for the conversation and the moments when the mind did not necessarily focus on work on the importance of it all. The images in yesterday’s post give you some context of what’s going on (hopefully).
This was the first time in a long time where I did not necessarily tell anyone that I was coming into town. It allowed me to be more relaxed than normal. I did happen to time my trip at the same time as two of my friends from Birmingham; looking back I guess it was subliminal. Being back in your home environment doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re returning to a perfect situation.
The main reason for going home was to visit my grandmother. We had to place her in a nursing home a couple of years ago, which incidentally was the last time I visited her while in town. Despite growing up surrounded my medical professionals, I have never liked hospitals or nursing homes. I’ve been seen as uncaring when I haven’t visited people while they’re in the hospital; I’ve just not been very comfortable. It’s not personal, it was tough enough to get me to visit my parents at work when I was home. I got some great news (of course after my first visit to see her); all of the cancer that had caused her memory loss was gone, miraculously. Unfortunately, her memory was not as sharp. There were some clear moments, but they were few and far between. It’s more of a struggle in my mind when I remember how headstrong she was and all of her stories from being a private duty nurse here in the States. It was more disturbing to see my mother, who’d done so much over the years to make sure that my brother and I were able to achieve whatever we wanted. She’s retired, but I’d love for her to be able to enjoy it more than it looks like she does now. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide that, eventually.
So after dealing with all of that, on top of some of my own personal demons of recent months, it was nice to be reminded of friendship and what it means. Terri was probably one of the more relaxing moments of the trip. I really hadn’t planned on contacting her since I figured that she’d want to enjoy her weekend in the Big Apple. We ended up meeting up with friends of hers from college and my brother, who incidentally ended up knowing of one of Terri’s friends through a mutual acquaintance. She’s reminded me on several occasions recently of one of my mantras; slow down and enjoy life. Yes, it is possible to slow down in New York City, despite the hustle and bustle. We did what I used to do, enjoy life and look up. It’s something that’s great to do, especially in New York City. If we’re up there again at the same time, maybe Betsy can be there too and we can do some more exploring of the city. I figure we’ll have a chance to talk again soon.
Shortly after meeting up with Terri, my brother and I met up with Curtis Palmer, who I’ve mentioned previously was in town for a demonstration of Urban Reversi at Conflux 2006. Curtis, Ainsley and I ended up wandering through the Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, the edge of TriBeCa and Soho all before 2 a.m. (something great to be able to do with all of the sleeping problems of late). The three of us had a lot of fun, a great opportunity to just talk, enjoy the city and decompress. As you can see from the picture posted yesterday, we had a lot of fun. We ended up at the Broome Street Bar, my favorite place to hang out downtown, since it’s that relaxed late at night.
The ability to just slow down and enjoy for a minute is great, and if nothing else, everything during the trip reminded me that I need to do it more often. Hopefully, with the chill of fall in the air, I’ll get a chance to head out more often. It was a great way to remember how important friends are, and of some of the better ones I’ve made since moving to Birmingham. Thanks for the reminder.
We’ll have some more this evening (honest).
Enjoy the day.