I "ran away" from North Dakota 27 years ago. I ran from my dysfunctional family, a bad marriage, and the dearth of economic opportunity. I ran and ran, through 3 marriages, and heartache, and regrets so strong they will haunt me to my own passing. I tried to run from my past and my fears, but they clung to me, never letting me divest myself of their presence.
It is time to go home. I have avoided my family and the happy/sad/ angry emotions stirred up by them. I am no longer a messed up 22 year-old woman with no responsibilities. I have deprived two of my children the kinship of knowing their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. My son is not going to be denied this. And selfishly, I need them, too.
Getting older and seeing the long shadow cast by my dad's impending gravestone fills me with regret. Seeing my mother struggle to care for a paraplegic husband, a job, and a farm fills me with shame.
It is not yet too late.... It is time to merge the young troubled woman with the older, wiser woman I have become. It is time for me to finally grow up.