It was nice to spend some time with you on Saturday. I've been "home" for nearly six months and it's certainly been strange. There are things that are exactly the same and a lot that is different. It's funny how time makes you appreciate things. I'll be another year older tomorrow, but I am still very much the little boy that didn't grow up.
Walking through Oakley still makes me feel like the little boy who used to spend his summer days taking a bus all over the city with you. That little boy always knew that a G.I. Joe or Star Wars toy would come at the end of the trip, but it's the man that now just appreciates that time together. I would trade all the wealth in the world for another day like that.
I walked through the little town that you and Grandpa are resting in and I cannot believe how much it looks the same. Some of the stores are gone, but the little restaurant where you would take me for lunch is still there. I didn't eat there, but I remember playing songs on the jukebox and crinkle cut french fries.
It was a much more simple time then. I remember when you would tell me how things were in your day and at the time I probably didn't think much of it. I am not sure what you would think of the world these days. You used to talk to almost everyone you met regardless of whether you knew them or not. People don't seem to that these days. The world has become a place where most of the people care about themselves more than anyone else. I bet you'd be able to find the good people. You seemed to always know how to do that.
My new job is going well. I made myself a promise when I took it that I would not become jaded and bitter like I was in Michigan. Phoenix was supposed to be the place to start over with a purpose, but there wasn't the right opportunity for me. Dayton has been good for me. I've been challenged from a career standpoint and on a personal one.
I meet and have met a lot of people in my job. They range from good and decent people who are trying to better themselves and their little corners of the world to people who pretend to be helping people, but in the end are really only helping their own bank accounts. I've stopped judging though. It's a better job for someone else. I have practiced being a better person and I hope it shows. Maybe it's being here in this place.
It's strange to be alone again. I started drawing again for the first time in forever. I remember being at your house on Ferdinand Place and always drawing pictures of Batman. I am not sure that back then it looked like Batman, but I can say that I've gotten better. I liked that house. I never told you,but I wished you and Grandpa would have never sold it. I drove down that street a couple of weeks ago. It was a great place to grow up. I couldn't be happier watching the Reds nearly everyday.
Mio's pizza is still there and I confess that I ordered one for old times sake. I will always be partial to Larosa's, but it wasn't bad. I have reconnected with Tim and it's good thing. I think we learn who real friends are over time. I wish that it would've taken less years to reconnect, but real friends pick up where they left off regardless of the passage of time or the turbulence along the way. It's good to see my friend happy.
Life is certainly different. I am alone a lot of the time. No pugs and no Lauren. It's a strange feeling to wake up alone. It's a strange feeling to have to manufacture noise. I miss them. I wish you could meet them. They have done what no one else has been able to do and that is to make me less selfish. I wish that would've happened sooner, but timing is a strange thing and it's usually for a purpose.
Arizona was fun. It didn't workout like we had planned, but more good than bad came from going west. I spent time with Mom and Bob and that was refreshing. I have usually only seen them a few times a year. One day I will appreciate that time even more. It was nice to be able to have dinner with them and spend time. It takes time to realize how much you appreciate family and it's usually not until they aren't around that you realize it.
When I came to see you it was for a couple of reasons. I promised I'd visit more since I live closer and second because I needed some strength. It was a good time to visit. I went to see the Drakes after I came to see you guys. There is an artist named Daughtry that you never got to hear. He wrote a song called "Home." There is a line in the song that says, " I'm going to a place where love and feeling good don't ever cost a thing." It was very true on Saturday.
The best thing about being here is that I can just be me. I tried so hard to get out of here several years ago, that I never realized how much of myself that I left here. I hope you like the guy that has come back. Mom and Bob are happy. They love Lauren. Diana has her struggles and we hope that she can gain some ground.
I hope you like Bella. I sure do miss her too. I know you're taking good care of her. She may have introduced you to Rebel. He's a pretty good guy too. Please feel free to look in on me when you want to. I am still a work in progress and I don't know if I'll ever truly grow up, but I am trying to make you proud.
Your slightly older grandson