One of the things about being back in NY is visiting places we use to go and live. We went to dinner at a friend’s house and found ourselves in our old neighborhood in Queens Village. We drove by our old house (pictured above) and it’s changed. There was a chain linked fence that that wasn’t there before and a new door.
We also passed by this little bodega we would go to a block away (pictured below). I remember my daughter wanting to be a big girl and walk to the store for milk for me by herself. After she kept begging for so long, I let her, but what she didn’t know was that I followed her. Seriously, it’s NY. I hid behind the trees and cars and watched her the whole way.
The neighborhood was changing when we lived there and I was feeling unsafe. I always felt like our block was in a protective bubble. There wasn’t any trouble on our block. My next door neighbor was a retired policeman.
A crack house popped up two doors down but was quickly closed. What were they thinking – operating a crack house next to a policeman’s home? I guess they would have liked to know that information before moving in.
I remember going to Jamaica Ave. (which was only 3 blocks away) for something one day and saw a lone prostitute walking the streets. I begged God to take me somewhere safer for my kids.
We knew we were moving to West Virginia at that time, but didn’t know the exact timing of the move. It wasn’t long before we moved. Our time in West Virginia was challenging for us. We learned a lot about the ministry there. We did have the opportunity to touch the lives and be touched by some awesome people. It was really great to see some of them on our way back to NY.
We live on Long Island now and our neighborhood is nice. The neighbors are friendly and the church is not very far away. I’m very excited about this new phase in our lives. It seems like we have come full circle. We are not the same people who left 16 years ago. We have grown and matured. At least I would like to think so.
We are reconnecting with friends we had 16 years ago and it feels like no time has passed when we get together. Tom and I are grateful for the wonderful church family we have now and are honored that God would choose us to be a part of their lives. We’ve only been here about 7 weeks, but it feels in so many ways we have been here all our lives. I guess you can go home again.
© Nadine Zawacki 2009