Home Town

Posted: January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m going north to my home town this weekend to visit family. I’m always a little apprehensive to do this. First, driving for six plus hours can be a bit shit at the best of times, but throw in some awful winter road conditions, and it quickly becomes a nightmare. Having had an accident a half-dozen years ago doesn’t make it any easier. I slid off the road and rolled down an embankment. I wasn’t hurt, but the car was none too happy about it. It could have been a lot worse. My dad was killed in a car accident, I’d prefer not to follow in his footsteps.Also I’m not really that patient a driver, I get restless pretty quickly.

Second, I have mixed feelings about my hometown. It’s really just a shell of the community it once was. It was an enormously prosperous mining town when I grew up, but with the mines closed, it’s just another economically depressed area. I also have mixed feelings about growing up there. In some ways it was heaven. It was a relatively isolated place with beautiful forests, hundreds of lakes, and at least a six quality beaches. I do look back fondly on playing in the woods, and exploring the multitude of ponds, streams, lakes and sand dunes. Swimming in crystal clear lakes in the summer, and building snow forts and tobogganing in the winter are things I will always remember fondly, but there is also much I’d prefer to forget.

It wasn’t easy growing up poor in a very affluent town. My poor mum did a fantastic job of raising six kids on her own, but it was tough having so little when all my friends and acquaintances had so much. Having to wear second-hand, outdated clothes, always made me feel a bit of an outcast. I’m a little ashamed to feel that way now, knowing how many kids have to live with so much less. The other problem I had was that from the time I reached my teens, I knew I was gay. Having these feelings as a boy from a stong Catholic upbringing, in an isolated mining community, was very difficult for me. I tried hard and for far to long, to convince myself otherwise. I was deeply ashamed of who I was. Now I guess I’m just a little ashamed of being ashamed. Life could have been so much better if I’d just allowed myself to be myself.

Lastly, although I miss my family and love them dearly, it’s somewhat bittersweet visiting them. My mum is in a nursing home now, and suffer from Alzheimer’s. It’s a little painful to watch a woman who has suffered so much, have to go through this. Although I love her and try to spend as much time as possible with her when I’m there, it always leaves me feeling a little sad. When I’m in town I stay at my brothers apartment. I love my brother, and I do what I can to make his life easier, but it’s not always easy. My brother is mentally challenged. He’s high functioning, but he still worries me living on his own. I know it’s lonely for him to live all alone, and I always feel a little guilty when I leave. I know that no that no matter how hard my life seems to be at times, I have never suffered even a fraction as much as he has.

I hope I haven’t sounded too pathetic in this story. I really do look forward to this trip. Even though my life hasn’t turned out the way I would have liked, I still have much to be thankful for. It will be nice to spend a few days with my sister and her husband, who live in a beautiful isolated house on a lake. They are both wonderful people who I truly respect. Also I will be off work for a week and that is never a bad thing. I think it will be good for me to get out and do something. It’s way better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I hope I don’t freeze my ass off, it can get really cold up there, and I’ve turned into quite a wimp.

Your fool

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