As it happens, Layla, though a good driver, has never driven more than a few miles. So last week Adrienne, ever the doting mother, drove down to Marin County to pick Layla up, and yesterday Adrienne drove Layla back home.
And after her two trips to the Bay Area, Adrienne has returned today, tired, saddened, and weeping.
Suddenly, she realizes — for the first time — that she has left Marin. “I’ve been looking forward to Layla visiting,” she sobs, “Now what will I look forward to?“
Everywhere she looks, she sees sadness. She’s closed her business; she’s left the dogs she walked; some of them she’s known for years. She’s received phone calls from many of the dog owners; she thinks of these phone calls now.
“Jazzie still waits by the front door every day,” she sobs. “I just can’t bear it.” The tears subside, then return.
“I didn’t know it would be so hard,” she cries. “I miss my daughters. I want to be near them. Lots of families live near each other.” She pauses. The tears come again.
“I’m a mother!” she cries. “I miss my daughters.”
I hold her, and let the tears flow. And I remember a time.
I lived at home when I started college, but after a semester wanted to move to another school, further away, where I’d not be living at home. Any young man wants that.
And I moved to the further school, and lived with roommates and had adventures, and then moved into an apartment of my own. I met girls and bought a fancy sportscar. And then one weekend I visited at home, until the Sunday.
As I drove away from our house, my little brother Paul, who was perhaps nine, ran on the sidewalk behind me, waving and calling goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
I watched him in the round mirror.
Although he was running toward me, in the round mirror he grew smaller and smaller, calling goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. My little brother grew smaller and further away, and I realized that, for the first time, I was driving away, because I was going home.