Last weekend I traveled back to the city where I was born and raised – Detroit – often referred to as “Motown.” I, along with my two children, now both adults and successfully making their way in this challenging world, along with their mother, my former wife with whom I am still the best of friends despite our being divorced for many years, returned to our alma mater, the University of Michigan. Early Saturday morning, we all headed up to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a gridiron showdown against one of our Big Ten foes, the University of Wisconsin. My daughter’s husband, while a graduate of Tennessee State, joined us and clearly had as much fun as everyone else.
After leaving Michigan almost 30 years ago, I have occasionally returned but rarely with any sense of joy or excitement. This time, however, was different and for several reasons.
Our beloved Wolverines, thanks to fourth quarter heroics by Amara Darboh who hauled in a 46-yard touchdown pass and then with a spectacular one-handed interception by Jourdan Lewis, secured their seventh win of the season, remaining undefeated and at the top of the league. Go Blue!
Our family shared the exuberance of school pride that I haven’t felt in many years. We each recalled our college years in “A2” while celebrated the opportunity to be together once again. Meanwhile, thanks to Jourdan’s delightful girlfriend, Nicole, we got great seats on the 50-yard line and I learned a lot more about the All-American defensive player who will certainly make his mark soon in the NFL.
Best of all, I got to babysit the love of my life, my 2-year-old grandson Jackson, whose daily accumulation of vocabulary is nothing short of amazing, so his parents could have some private time alone. I dined with my older sister and my mother. We worshiped together in the small, storefront church where I was baptized and learned about God. And we visited one of our favorite families, the Murrays, who faithfully await a new heart for the man of the house. During our time together I led us in prayer – confident in the belief that the heart our friend “J” so desperately needs will become available soon because “God can do everything but fail.”
As my mom and I boarded the plane and headed back to our Silver Spring home, I thought about one of my favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz.” The lesson that Dorothy learned by the conclusion of that film is one that I finally understood and have similarly embraced: “There’s no place like home.”
We often make excuses for why we can’t attend family dinners, annual reunions, celebrations and significant once-in-a-lifetime events. But I have stopped finding reasons why I cannot share one more time in the company of those who I love and in whose hands I can trust with my life. I now chose to live each day as if it were my last, being a positive force in the universe and embracing my friends, family and fellow Informer staff members with God’s “agape love.”
Detroit may not be the best place in the world but it’s the place I know best. It’s the place where countless, joyous memories were made – memories that I often relive over and over again.
Yes!! There’s no place like home!