So we moved to Detroit. That's what people do when they don't know what to do or they need to start over- they go back to where they started.
My dad started in Detroit. He started as number nine of 14 children in a brick tudor on Lakewood. It's for sale right now. I hope whoever buys it loves it the way it ought to be loved.
He had the kind of mother you imagine authors refusing to write about because clearly it would be unrealistic. A person so generous, kind, patient, and loving can't really exist, can she? But she did. She did amazing things, that woman.
I miss her.
I wish I could have known her more as an adult. As a mother myself. What I do have of her is me, on the sofa in her den watching General Hospital on a weekday afternoon. She would toast my bread ever so lightly and even agreed to cut the crusts off. Walking her dog Harper with her on frosty mornings. Loving that she could be so gentle yet managed to be so firm. She had a quiet power, the kind every woman should strive for.
I don't know what this has to do with my story except she is what Detroit means to me. That house and those children of hers, who had children of their own, who give so readily and love so easily, are what Detroit means to me.
When I told her I was being called back to the Church, the Church she so loved, the one my father had left, we were standing together in her backyard. She had a little St. Francis statue. She put her arm around my shoulder and cried.
But that didn't happen for a long, long time. For now I am 5 years old. The Fisher Mansion is my temple.
Within those high walls, behind those wrought iron gates, I feel safe and happy. The grounds are beautiful. Everyone knows my name.
For a while we didn't have a home. I stayed with various families while my dad got his business started.
Then he found me another mom. We moved into that brick tudor. She had a baby boy, my very first little brother. Then things went wrong again. Somehow horribly wrong, and she left with him when he was just nine months old.
I've not seen her or him since, that short time mother, that one time brother. I think he lives in New York City now. We were friends on facebook for a bit but he deleted his account. Or he has me blocked. I don't know which.
Sometimes I wonder who reads this blog, what he were to think if he found it. I think about my cousin, our cousin, who lives there too and is roughly his age. What if they've passed each other on the street? What if they've ridden in the same train car?
Sometimes it's all just a little too...bizarre.