Being back in Buffalo was pretty surreal. I wasn’t there very long, but long enough for the time being. As I wrote before going to Buffalo that this would be an interesting trip thinking of this is the last and pretty much the only place where Timile, Cydney, and I were a family. Being that we’re rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day and Cydney’s birthday a lot of things are coming back to me and I guess this trip was definitely good timing.
Going around the city more than anything just gave me reminders of little things that made up my experience in Buffalo. When I got off of the plane and saw it was snowing, it reminded me of my second day in Buffalo where it snowed cats and dogs at the end of March. Right before I hit baggage claim there is a large banner advertising Roswell Park Cancer Institute where I spent many days at taking Timile to chemo treatments, appointments, and spent a lot of hours after work visiting when she would be admitted before going home just in time to put Cydney to sleep. As I was riding along the 33 Expressway and passed Norfolk Ave and Bailey Ave I just couldn’t help but look out the window and look at the house we used to stay at and the street I used to walk up and down from the bus coming home at night before we got the car fixed. It put a real smile on my face seeing that because while these things absolutely sucked they were a good time.
Seeing Timile’s family was surreal as well. They hadn’t seen Cydney or I since we left. Everyone was really happy to see Cydney. Everyone couldn’t help but talk about how much she looks like her mother especially from the side as a baby. There was also a photo of Timile on the mantle in the den at her aunt’s house and I kinda laughed because I remembered taking that picture as we’re sitting there talking about her and looking at it in which it was another reminder that she’s just a memory. It was great for Pat, Timile’s grandmother to see Cydney. As soon as she got in she was VERY happy to see her. Cydney picks up on things and spent quite a bit of time with her. I was glad to see that especially since we didn’t get along too well (well, she didn’t with me which is a story for another time) and I obviously don’t have much of a relationship with her daughter because of all of the melee in Virginia.
We also stayed at Scott’s house who lived down the street from Timile’s aunt. Scott was who was originally thought to be Timile’s biological father but when the results came back and said otherwise he still said she was his daughter and treated her like so. Him and I always got along. He would come by every once in a while and we’d hang out and have a few drinks just to get me out of the house and have something to do other than take care of everyone. So while I may have got in late and long days we still would go out at night like old times, get something to eat and crash around 5:30 just to wake up at 8:30 in a few hours.
While it was a lot of different things being back, it definitely brought things full circle. Since I drove off and left Buffalo I knew life was going to be different. Life is much different since then. There is now only two of us and we’ve both had some interesting life experiences since then. But Cydney and I are both very much different since we left. Sometimes going back is what’s needed to know you really are ready to move forward.