So this morning I paid a visit to the place I used to work, well, two days ago, though that’s misleading. I worked there for over ten years, full time, and then was transferred to another department and location. But I still did a little part time work, up until this week, so even though I’ve said goodbye to the place more than once already, today turned out to be another one of those times.
My friends planted some lilac bushes for me there, on the grounds, when my mother died in 2004. They’ve grown really well. They started off as tiny little things, and now they’re ten or so feet tall.
I’m not prone to sentimentalism. But standing there I couldn’t help but think about “then” and “now”. Back then my life was completely, utterly different from how it is today. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I felt connected to my career. I was lonely. I spent most of my waking hours at the place I worked. I spent most of my time with people I don’t know now. I thought I would spend my life alone, and here, in Buffalo. Now, work is a secondary characteristic to me; I spend time there, but I’m not focused on it. I’m not lonely, at least, not when I’m with Dave, and not when I think about the rest of our lives together. And I’m leaving, entirely, and going someplace I never had any reason to even visit before. So it was a bit of a moment, I guess, staring at my mother’s name on the plaque, thinking about the people who’d surrounded my days, and the friends I’d been closer to then, and the person I used to be.
Next year I won’t be here to see the lilacs bloom, though my friend says she’ll send pictures. I think that’s all I need, from now on. I think you can only keep going back to someplace so many times, before it starts to haunt you a little. I’m good with saying goodbye this one last time, but I think that’s enough.