A few weeks ago, I looked at a satellite map (Google) of my old home. I strained to recognize any landmarks but the only thing I barely recognized was my school. It was a sprawling campus with that had kindergarten to high school. There used to be empty lots around it but the school is now surrounded by houses and apartment buildings. The school is so different now. I saw some of the pictures from its website. They must have made a lot of changes over the years.
As I scrolled around the satellite map, I saw the airport where we marveled at the planes. I couldn’t wait for them to land and take off. I wasn’t able to find the place where my dad worked anymore. I knew it had been torn down many years ago. But I thought I might recognize some old landmarks.
When my dad was in the hospital, I brought my laptop and showed him some of the old pictures of the city he grew up in. Even though his memory was fading, he quickly recognized a lot of places. I kept scrolling through the pictures and each one seemed to spark a story. All of a sudden he started to cry. My sister glared at me for upsetting him and I quickly closed my laptop. It took awhile to calm him down. About a month later when he finally was discharged and was told he was going home, he was so happy.
When he got home he told me he thought when he was told he was going home, he was going back to the old country. Although he told us he recognized the house, I think he really didn’t understand what was going on.
It’s strange. I don’t usually think about where I was born but some days I am curious about the country we left behind. I still have some relatives there although I’m not close to them. Maybe I’ll fly back one of these days and do a bit of exploring.