The things we miss

I had to be back in Montreal briefly this week. Driving down the leafy avenues, seeing the French street signs – it was a lovely sense of familiarity. Being at the Pharmaprix (pronounced FarmaPree, thank you very much) and overhearing French being spoken, and finally able to pick up Advil Cold and Sinus in the silver bottle (not available here) – it felt good.

I was in town for such a short time that I didn’t get to have poutine nor see most of my friends (sorry guys – next time). I also had been so looking forward to a shopping spree at Winners (like Kohl’s) but I had no time for it.

Montreal was my home for 16 years and I really didn’t think I missed it. It took going back to realize it was the tiny little things that I missed. I love living in New York, but Montreal will always hold a special place in my heart.

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4 Comments

  1. I know what you mean!! I grew up in Montreal from 1976-1986 (my formative years) but it was SUCH a huge part of my life & whenever I return for a yearly visit to my parents, it’s always such a nice nostalgic feeling especially b/c so much of my old community has really stayed the same in the past 25 or so years since I’ve moved away.

  2. sheldan says:

    I can really relate to your sentiments. In fact, I think I will be confronting them in less than two weeks.

    On July 1, my wife and I will be moving to Boca Raton, FL. We recently bought property there (in a gated senior community) and were thinking about using it as a vacation home. It turned out that there might be a better possibility of my finding teaching employment there, so we decided to make the move now.

    I grew up in Memphis, TN, and it was always home to me. I went away to college and came home for graduate school, relocated for about 1 1/2 years, returned home for about 3 1/2 years, moved away for about 9 years, and finally made the decision to return home after assessing my prospects in the area I was. Overall, I think it was the right decision. I was able to visit my grandmother for the last years of her life. My parents were going to shul on Shabbat and I went with them, which gave me a lot of good memories. (I will always remember sitting with Dad and our participating in the services, singing along, etc.) We got married in Memphis. We live in a neighborhood a lot of people I knew lived in when we were kids.

    Sadly, times changed. My mother suffered a stroke and lived for 5 1/2 years with trouble expressing herself. She passed away in March 2011, and after an identity theft incident we made a wrenching decision to place my father in the Jewish Home. Dad was never the same after Mother died, and he also had problems with dementia. Six months after Mother’s passing, he passed away as well. (I knew that, as they got older, they wouldn’t be around forever, so I learned to treasure the memories together.) His passing was not unexpected; they were married for 59 years and I thought that with one gone, the other would go soon afterward.

    It is now nine months later, and I am faced with the decision to stay here or try to make a better life elsewhere. For various reasons, including my wife’s health and other factors, we have decided to make the move.

    My wife and I have discussed the implications of a move many times. We have speculated that there just may be no real reason to come back often to either Memphis or Pittsburgh (her home town). Since our parents are gone, and we have grown apart from the people we grew up with, it might be better if we made friends in our new area and have some sense of “family.” However, there is no doubt that I will miss Memphis, and all that I have seen over the years, such as the shuls, the JCC, the Mississippi River, Downtown, and all the other things that I grew up with and came to town while I was away. I think that you and Batya have it exactly right–enjoy where you are now, but hold on to the memories of where you lived.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      Sheldan – that’s a big move, but it sounds like you have really weight up the pros and cons. Wishing you so much hatzlacha in your new home and community.

  3. rebeccad says:

    I know how you feel. Everytime I go back to Vancouver I feel the same way. no matter how it changes I just feel like I am home. I miss the food too. You can’t get the kosher picled onions here in the states. I also never get over that the feeling is there. I’ve been away so long as i write this i am thinking of mooching an invite from my dad that is still there.

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