|Photo by Renee Duncan-Tabak|
Yea, I'm a little homesick.
Lately I've been thinking about family. About friends. About those I've loved and lost. About how the "Capital of Appalachia", a city of over 306 thousand people can maintain a small town feel. How we invented the Zombie.
Somewhere there is a photo of my family, I'm in my hockey uniform. It was taken at the Monroeville mall which is also where they shot Dawn of the Dead. I don't know how many times my dad got up at 4 AM in the morning so I could dream of following my hero's at the time. He must of known his kid stunk.
I remember catching fireflies out on the lawn on warm endless summer nights, the stars were different then. More numerous. More Luminous. I remember riding my bike, my bicycle, up and down the street for thousands of miles.
I remember soccer games in the backyard. Hitting golf balls at the neighbors house, and no, I never broke a window. Drinking my dad's beer in the basement.
One of my fondest memories was seeing my Dad, drunk on the euphoria of the Penguins first Stanley Cup win. He had been a fan from the very beginning, and this was a sweet victory for him. This was Pittsburgh, fans in the street yet no violence...no fires and only a few arrests. My friends, musicians all, blowing trumpets at the airport to triumph the conquering heroes.
This was home.
I am going home for several reasons. It's been over a year since I touch Pennsylvania soil. I have a new niece that is celebrating her first birthday, and is my parents first grandchild. Like my father, who fell in love with the Pens from the very beginning...I fell in love with the Riverhounds. They have a new stadium that was a long time coming and I feel the need to see a game there, considering that I wrote their match reports for a bit at the turn of the century. It seems a lifetime ago.
I've celebrated a birthday, my father celebrated his eighty-second birthday a month before. My mother is ten years younger and celebrated hers a few days later. Time is running out. So why not go home and celebrate my being an uncle? Why not get a family photo? Why not create memories?
Home is where the heart is they say...but it's also where the memories are. My heart, my soul is in Pittsburgh. I am going home to connect with old friends. To re-establish ties and to make sure that the people I love are cared for.
I am going home.