This month my parents will be moving from my childhood hometown, Erie, PA and will relocate to Cincinnati to be closer to my brother’s family. Naturally this brings up a lot of sadness for me for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, I will be losing my connection to my hometown and state. Once my parents leave town there will be no other compelling reason for me to go back at that point. Although I have family in a nearby town in New York state only an hour and a half away, my parents not being in Erie eliminates the need to visit Pennsylvania – there are simply too many other places to see in this world. If and when I return there someday (perhaps for nostalgia purposes) I know it just won’t be the same without Mom and Dad there.
Secondly, it will be harder to maintain regular face-to-face visits with my son’s birthparents and my extended family in New York state. Once Mom and Dad leave Pennsylvania, visiting my extended relatives in New York also will lessen as will visiting with my son’s birthparents who live near their same town. As much as I love my cousins and aunts and uncles in New York and my son’s birthparents, visiting them will not take precedent over visiting my own parents, brother and sister who live in other states and Scott and I are both really saddened by this. We know we have been so fortunate to have been able to form such strong connections with both my extended family and our son’s birthparents for as long as we have. It will be interesting to see how we manage keeping in touch with our New York family going forward. I’m hopeful that technology such as Facetime or Skype will be able to make this transition a little less painful.
Finally, I’m saddened by the underlying reason as to why my parents chose to give up their home. My parents are well aware that the next phase of their lives (they are in their 70’s) is going to involve them needing a lot more help from family which wasn’t going to happen in Pennsylvania since their three children are spread out all around the country. I am saddened that this move required them to give up their home and leave town in order to do this but I’m also so proud of them for being proactive in their lives and making this change while they are still healthy and able to create new lives for themselves in their new location. They have the foresight to plan ahead when so many others wait for tragedy to happen to dictate a move. This doesn’t make the reality of the situation any easier for me though which is basically this: my parents, like all of us, are getting older and one day in the not too distant future they aren’t going to be here. My heart aches when I think about that.
Top things I will miss about Erie, PA:
- Going to Presque Isle (the beaches, bike paths and the hiking trails. I spent so much time there growing up.)
- Seeing big snow (Nothing beats a snow day at Mom and Dad’s house!)
- Canoeing in the lagoons near the boat rental on Presque Isle (I learned to canoe properly doing the J-stroke while working at the boat rental in my high school years. It is so peaceful in the lagoons. I love it there.)
- Being able to windsurf and sail on Lake Erie and watching the sunsets over the lake
- Flying in and out of the Erie airport on a propeller plane (I loved flying in and out of Erie because it was so convenient and personable. My sister and I were once paged by name to hurry up and get on the plane before it took off! Only in a small town – in a big city they just leave you. Will I ever fly in a propeller plane again?)
- Eating Macintosh apples from a local cider mill (Dad, remember flying into California with a luggage full of apples from Erie and you somehow managed to bypass California’s agricultural inspection station?!)
- Witnessing the leaves changing in the fall time – so beautiful! (Especially the sea of yellow leaves in the back of my parent’s house.)
- Cruising the public dock and seeing the Flagship Niagara docked near by
- Going to the Erie zoo (I have many fond memories of going there as a child and hearing the lion roar from our house, which wasn’t far away.)
- Being able to drive to different states easily which isn’t possible from where we live in California (especially visiting the cities: Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo.)
- And lastly, of course, running into the remaining friends and acquaintances I know there!
Goodbye Erie 🙁