In the back of my mind I always knew that, one day, I would return to Maine to take care of my aging grandmother. At the same time, I hoped that somehow that day would never arrive. It has nothing to do with my grandmother; I love her very much and owe her a lot. But, for me, Maine will always represent the darkest days of my life, when my depression first began and thoughts of suicide were a daily, if not hourly, occurrence. I know it’s not rational to blame an entire state for my out of whack brain chemistry, but since when is mental illness rational?
So, here I am, 5 months into my “temporary” relocation faced with the reality that it is not so temporary. I start a job in a couple of days and have started a mental list of the things I need sent from California in order to endure the cold, snowy, Maine winter that is approaching faster than I care to think about. Family friends ask me every day if I am staying “for good”, and I am slowly replacing my usual reply of “indefinitely” with a resigned “yes”. I am here to stay as long as my grandmother needs me and, since she isn’t getting any younger, she is probably going to need me for the rest of her life.
And so begins my new life; the life of a native Mainer, who calls California home, yet has returned to her native land, despite her fears, to do right by her grandmother. Sounds like the synopsis of a Hallmark movie, doesn't it? Let's hope that it takes fewer tears to reach the happy ending.