We lived in a two-story apartment building, in the late sixties, in a Chicago suburb called, Logan Square. The apartment was on Belden Avenue, located across the street from Charles Darwin Elementary School. I’ve seen recent, Google Earth pictures of the building. It still sits quietly, among the other adjacent buildings, as though they are old neighbors, perpetually cursed to stay bound next to one another for the rest of time, on that street.
It stands defiantly tall, pale and menacing, as it has always been. The face of its frontal exterior, looks gothic, dark and lifeless, like a dormant monster, quietly observing the living just beyond its boundary. Its corners are squared and sharply contoured, there is nothing soothing about it. There is an intrusive vine that spreads itself over most of the frontal exterior, at certain times of the year, like a natural parasitic mask, growing to conceal its ugly face. When I saw it for the first time after forty-eight, some odd years ago, I thought to myself, “There you are, I remember you,” as though I was revisiting an old, adversary.
After so many years, my journey is now coming full circle. A return to a time that brought so much pain into my young life as a boy. Why am I going back? Why subject myself to recollecting such painful memories of my parents’ late night shouting matches, images of my mother’s skinny frame sobbing over the kitchen sink uncontrollably; the serious auto accident we were involved in, one late night, as my father drove my bothers and I to the airport, where my aunt Miriam’s husband, Richard, would accompany my brothers and I on an Easter Airlines flight to my fathers’ family, in Miami, Florida?
Because this time, I am on a new journey, moving towards wholeness and healing. I am no longer languishing in the deep, mired pit of the crushing weight of guilt, shame and despair, coupled by the toxic poison of bitter unforgiveness and incarcerating bitterness that left me so completely crippled. No more. I am on a new quest, where God now walks along my side, keeping His loving, tender and empowering hand upon my shoulders, guiding me along each step of the way. My journey continues…