|GPHS Class of '69 yearbook pictures of my twin John and myself|
|Grosse Pointe High School South, Grosse Pointe, Michigan|
|John and Molly on the shores of Orchard Lake, Michigan, 1953|
|Sunset over Orchard Lake, Michigan, 2009|
Thursday morning, early, Ron and I board a plane for Michigan. We will be attending my 45th high school class reunion. My mom also attended Grosse Pointe High school - this would have been the year of her 70th reunion! I am excited and grateful about this and so much more.
When I reflect on "going home" what I am experiencing is a bone deep connection to the land of my childhood and my ancestors. This is different than my experience of the Pacific Northwest, which has been home to my heart, spirit, and soul since 1975. Oregon, and now Washington, is where awakening took root for me, where my heart opened to healing and love, where amazing people came into my life, where I gave birth to three extraordinary sons and now await the birth of my first grandchild, where I am graced increasingly with awakening to the preciousness of each day and each moment and all that I love. Life is such a miracle.
Michigan is where I have memories of much pain, trauma, and loss. And also much beauty. I remember thunder storms, wild thunder storms. And lakes that I felt like a fish swimming in, free and wild and at peace. Especially Orchard Lake, which was the same lake my dad had also grown up swimming in, as had his siblings and my grandparents. These are different roots, ones which live on in my heart.
My first trip back to Michigan in recovery was in 1989. I remember how my throat ached at that first reunion I attended as I stood up for a huge group picture with our 20th high school class reunion alumni. The loss of my twin was with me. Deeply. Painfully. And I was overcome with what felt like tsunami size waves of grief when I first drove by that home on Thorn Tree Road where I had lived from 6 to 18. And how stunning - what a miracle! - when I went to the first home my parents built on Harcourt where John and I spent our first 6 years. I rang the doorbell and the woman who opened the door was the same person who my parents had sold the home to 32 years earlier. I had not been back since. But she remembered me and welcomed me and encouraged me to wander the home of my earliest years. And in 1989 it was hard to leave Pine Lake Cemetery, where my dad and brother are buried. I wanted to stay there, sitting on the Earth between the graves, weeping. I had to pull myself away. And there was more, much more, that felt overwhelmingly sad...and also somehow profoundly blessed.
Today, in many ways, is different. Since I began walking this heart-path, each trip back has brought to me greater healing, clarity, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, wisdom. And I am changed. Stronger, kinder, more whole, more loving. And now I know I will return to the home of my childhood to laugh and cry, to dance and celebrate, to play and explore, to share with Ron and other loving family and friends, and to embrace and integrate just that much more deeply the experiences of my life.
Although I didn't know it, there was a time - my first 30+ years - that I was very fragmented. I stayed busy, addicted, pretending to myself and everyone else something other than the truth. There was so much that was within me that was not embraced, befriended, held, healed, understood, accepted, integrated, transformed. This is not my truth today. Today I experience that everything - everything - has changed. And continues to change and be deepened, understood, learned from, enjoyed, treasured. It is great to be alive!
And now I get to return to Grosse Pointe and Orchard Lake and more, and this time with my beloved husband. And we get to see family and friends and open to whatever it is that emerges from this excellent adventure. And an excellent adventure it will surely be.
I am ready! I am grateful! And I say YES to Life! And to hopefully soon dancing to some great old rock 'n roll with a bunch of other "old hippies"! Blessed be!
And bless us all....
|My dad (far left), his parents and siblings, at their home on Orchard Lake, 1925 |