I took my mother to her childhood homes yesterday. Happens to be the same town/area my daughter lives in. Yes, I was a bit anxious and found myself looking at faces like I used to do before I found her. I tried hard not to let my mind run away with me in relation to her and did my best to focus on my mother and her utter and complete joy at seeing her home neighborhood after more than 40 years.
Mom sat on the steps of the two homes she lived in, told me stories of playing handball, shared the names of old neighbors. We drove by her old high school (Erasmus Hall, a Jewish High School) and she shared stories of being an Irish Catholic girl attending a Jewish High school. She pointed out “the mound” near the Brooklyn Museum where she and my dad used to make out while they were dating. We had a yummy tex-mex lunch at a cute place on her old street. We went inside the church she was a member of and had an amusing conversatoin with the current priest. This gent introduced himself to us and said “I am the first black priest” at this parish. I high-fived him and said “good for you Father!”.
While I am no longer a practicing Catholic I found myself taken by him, his lovely church and the fact he conducts mass and confession in English, Spanish and French Creole. I even talked abortion with him. All the while my mother was smiling and chatting up a storm about her younger days in the Church. Before we left he gave us both a blessing. Said blessing made my mother smile and me rather uncomfortable but I went along out of respect for them both.
Despite being in the same general vicinity as my daughter this did not happen a second time and I was pleased. The day was about my mother and she was pleased. For that, I was pleased.