You Can’t Go Home Again… Ha!

Ah Cahokia, Illinois… Now my “home away from home.” I think of you often, and occasionally return to see what’s left of my family I “left behind.” I keep hoping they will wise up soon and depart too because it’s so dangerous in the St. Louis area now…

My Parents Without Partners Conference finished Saturday night (May 5) and Sis called me about 7:30 pm to say they’d love to see Bernard Jr and me; so we planned to drive to their house Sunday for pizza. We checked out of the hotel in Fairview Heights and drove the back roads to Cahokia; reminiscing as we pointed out the changes (and deterioration) of the area.

There were houses crumbling and burned out all along Highway 157 as we drove to 46 W Adams (where we moved when Mom’s property was sold,) and I told Bernie, “See, we could’ve been living in Mom’s house and been “stuck here,” but instead we lived across the driveway renting from her.” We drove down Mildred Avenue: past the grass now growing in the burned out vacant lot that was once The Old Baptist Church Building that we knew as “565” and home. 565, where young Sis and I used to roller skate around on the wooden floor while the front of the building sat vacant, waiting for another church looking for a new home. From there, we drove past 408 (Mom’s House) and 410 (where we lived from 1990 until Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2001).

Bernie said he was depressed from looking at the devastation around him, but I felt elated, like I had been given a gift: the gift of leaving Cahokia behind in 2005 and traveling Down South to start over; creating new memories to reflect on years later just like I did Sunday May 6th in Cahokia. (Sometimes ya just gotta “go back” to appreciate where you are now.) Onward…

About sandrabranum

I'm a philosopher, dreamer, poet, writer -- not necessarily in that order -- and I get to write it all down and share it with the world thanks to the Wonderful World Wide Web!
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