"A Homecoming"

"A Homecoming"

A Story by richieb
"

Memoirs of a young man.

"
        My evening in Crestline, Ohio ended with a nice bit of nostalgic sentiment. I was in town to give a talk to a group of people about a problem we all shared.
           
          Being in Crestline was nothing new to me. I had previously lived there for six years. I had attended St.Joseph's Catholic school for the first six grades before my family moved to a small neighboring town.

            Growing up in Crestline was really a pleasant experience. Being made of youth and innocence, my mind and lifestyle reflected honesty and goodness with a touch of mischief. I appreciated life without giving it much thought. Not having my homework finished was about the only thing I had to fear in life.

          Most of my time was spent exploring rippling creeks and the treasures of its muddy bed. I strengthened my throwing arm by skipping stones at country fishing holes. Catching unsuspecting frogs sharpened my quickness and reflexes.
        
          I skinned my knees and elbows on the brick laid streets while I rollicked away on my bicycle. I became an acute student of the rules and skills of sports. I learned how to shoot and cheat at marbles and then the necessity to argue that I hadn't cheated but that is how we played at the other kids backyard.

          Those years taught me how to make fun of a girl in front of a group of guys and and be able to tell the same girl how pretty she was when no one else was around.

          More of the fascinations of life presented themselves during  those growing years. Later I came to yearn for that special time as the long days of adolescence turned into the fast years of adulthood.

           The freshness of learning turned stale. Honesty and innocence evaporated slowly, eventually draining a once full well. The enthusiasm of life was traded for the guilt and remorse of drinking.

            No longer were tennis shoes covered with dust from spending endless summer days on ball diamonds. Bright summer days were not turned into cool relaxing evenings while peacefully fishing. The anticipation of getting up early and spending all day with your buddies no longer existed. The naturalness of being content with oneself dried up. All that was left was a hunger for cleanliness.

             My evenings became full of sitting in bars drinking while the mornings labored with the suffering of recovery. The tender feelings that bonded me with my Creator were stripped away. My woods,creeks and ball fields became bar rooms and taverns. I was now only faithful to one thing, the bottle.

               From a bar stool I was alienated from nature. I became a prisoner of reeking smells and filth. My mind was filled with frustration and hopelessness. The butterfly had returned to the cocoon and came back as a diseased snake. Everything that was pure was now black. Nothing shined.

               The refection of God's Image in my soul was blank. Only the painful hunger for that reflection existed. Within that hunger a small speck of hope lay. The last bit of true life I owned. If somehow it was nurtured, it may be able to break through the darkness.

                 Pleading prayers and a desperate will brought a rescuing calvary to my aid. People like myself who had tasted that foul scum and were now free, gently picked me up. They carried me to spiritual fountain which cleansed me. These soldiers of mercy instilled a strength of purity to my tired bones. The marrow of goodness began to flow again. I could look at God with crystal clear eyes and talk to Him with gratitude.

                 The sickness was going away. I was no longer a caged animal but a decent human being again. I could taste life once more. The only debt I had to pay was to share the knowledge of freedom to those who were still prisoner. To give away what was given to me.

                 This was the reason I was speaking in Crestline tonight. To spread the message that there are keys to open those dungeon doors. Tools to build foundations of sobriety. And a Higher Power to make it all possible.

                I gave my talk in the basement of a church. I turned my thoughts and words over to God. For it is in His presence that healing takes place. When I had completed my message I felt refreshed.

               Leaving the church I crossed the street still laid with bricks to where my truck was parked. Then it hit me. My truck was parked in front of where our old house once stood. a new apartment complex was there now.

               My eyes immediately visioned our two story house with the full stone front porch. Beautiful woodwork with thick double doors of heavy oak. That house had heard our laughter and contained our tears. Its rooms had felt my brother and sister take their first steps. It had heard my prayers and protected me as I dreamed in bed. It was gone from the street but it stood strong in my heart.

               Slowly I reached down and touched the wet grass and felt the cool earth beneath it. It was like shaking hands with an old friend. With the dew and dirt on my finger tips I slowly blessed myself.

               It was good to truly be home again.
        

© 2016 richieb



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Featured Review

This a great story of redemption, of throwing off the shackles of alcoholism. As I'm sure you know, many can't do it. Most of the time I spent in the Navy was beer-soaked. And the dumbest, most destructive things I've ever done, I did while pie-eyed drunk. Yours is a happy, inspirational story, and I love that you wrote it.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

This a great story of redemption, of throwing off the shackles of alcoholism. As I'm sure you know, many can't do it. Most of the time I spent in the Navy was beer-soaked. And the dumbest, most destructive things I've ever done, I did while pie-eyed drunk. Yours is a happy, inspirational story, and I love that you wrote it.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed reading your story. It really brings home that losing those connections to our roots - our community and the land, is something many miss and mourn. I pity our young people today who won't get to experience the youth you described.

Posted 5 Months Ago


I enjoyed reading your story. It really brings home that losing those connections to our roots - our community and the land, is something many miss and mourn. I pity our young people today who won't get to experience the youth you described.

Posted 5 Months Ago


Aloha Izzy,
Thank you for your kind words. You are a great reviewer as well as a great writer. I am soon to be 63 years old. This is a true story about me when I was in my early 30's. This November, God willing, I will be sober for 37 years.
Many Blessings,
Richie b.

Posted 5 Months Ago


Aloha Richie, this was an incredible read. I loved the journey and how it all came full circle. Your writing is beautiful and descriptive but has a lovely clarity and flow about it. The contrasting experiences offer such a vivid look into two sides of the same thing. Wonderful read. Izzy

Posted 5 Months Ago


i loved reading this. It was a touching tale of how people can change, no matter how bad their situation is. I like how throughout the story, you created such constrast by describing the character's youthful years in comparison to his later years...really shows how time can change people. Great work.

-William Liston

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

richieb

1 Year Ago

Wiliiam,
Thank you for your fine r.. read more
Amazing life story. I followed every step of the way and was amazed at how well you paced things throughout. I felt many feelings and sentiment. Great write!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

richieb

1 Year Ago

Thank you Cyprian for your review. I appreciate your kind words and comments.
Cyprian Van Dyke

1 Year Ago

You're very much welcome Richie B!
I read the Holding Cell a few times, but this one I read more slowly. The depth of drama and prose is really good. you may want to consider a larger typeset though, as I had to squint to see the letters on my computer.
your use of metaphor is also good.
The butterfly had returned to the cocoon and came back as a diseased snake.
it's unique and not cliche which makes the piece much better!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

richieb

1 Year Ago

Thank you for reading CR, I appreciate your comments.
mmm, maybe anal, wouldn't describe me as that. As a short story it stinks, as an essay its wonderful. It just isn't a short story to me. Cheer up, I have a few on here they stink also, grins. Don't claim to write them. About the same, I could pull them off performance, but not on a written page. This isn't going there. It does as an essay. A story has characterization, a plot, point of view, etc. This is really more of an opinion, which is an essay. Love your work though.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

richieb

1 Year Ago

This is a memoir instead of a short story. This is a true incident of mine th.. read more
Cyndy Robinson

1 Year Ago

Explains it, the few short stories I have on here are memoirs, just trying for making a memoir into .. read more
I enjoyed the story. I like the thoughts, places and the opportunity to find home. I like the flow of thoughts leading to good ending. Good to find proper place and old friends. Thank you for sharing the excellent story.
Coyote

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

richieb

1 Year Ago

Thank you Coyote, I appreciate your comments.
Coyote Poetry

1 Year Ago

Was my pleasure and you are welcome.

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Added on April 14, 2016
Last Updated on April 14, 2016

Author

richieb
richieb

Shelby, OH



About
I am a steelworker with 34 years experience looking forward to retirement in 3years. I want to start writing short stories and maybe try a novel. want to be part of a writing group that offers suppor.. more..

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