“Comin’ Home” Montana Tunesmith
You could have cut the excitement in the air with a knife it was that strong.
Jono was coming home, and everyone was on edge, bubbling with excitement and rushing around doing all that could to placate mum who wanted everything ready, shined and presentable before he came through the house gate.
It had all started the previous morning with mum rushing through the house shouting: “He’s coming, he’s coming!”
Through bleary eyes, the message filtered through to us that our older brother was coming home after travelling around Europe for the past four years. We’d been entertained by his postcards and Instagram posts of the places he had lived and worked in.
Mum treasured every one as Jono was her first born and no matter where he was or what age he achieved he was always her baby. The rest of us were the furniture she moved around or directed in one way or another to get things done.
None of that mattered right now as we did everything possible to get ready. Baths were had, deodorant dusted off and applied, his room given a makeover, the rubbish that had accumulated in it in his absence removed, so it looked like it did the day he’d left all those years ago.
Mum spent the morning inspecting every room and then us. There were last-minute orders to dust this or that, sweep away the crumbs under the kitchen table and keep a look out for him coming down the home road.
Dad all this time was a picture of excitement in his own special way. Where mum was vocal dad was silent except when he thought there was something to say. Dad and Jono had a bit of a falling out when Jono left. Dad was hoping his eldest son would work on the farm with him, but that was not to be. Jono wasn’t a farm boy. He had no particular interest in things farm and made that clear to mum and dad.
When he left mum was sad and said she’d worry about him until the day he returned, whenever that might be.
Dad carried on, the farm was a full-time job, and it fell to us kids to help where we could. But I could see in his eyes there was a fear about Jono coming home and the left-over words spoken in anger when he left.
But dad held all that in as he understood that for mum this was a day she had longed for.
At last dust on the road signalled the approaching taxi Jono would have hired to bring him home from the train station. We watched as it drew closer, each of us remembering the brother we saw trudge off wondering if we’d ever see him again. Now we wondered who we’d meet when the dust settled and he stepped out.
The door opened, and out stepped a young man, his tight jeans showing his slim build, his bright shirt and black vest a fashion sense that was beyond most of us. He looked about, flashed a grin and immediately we saw our brother.
Mum with her hand to her lips approached, and they embraced as if it was yesterday they last saw each other. They held each other, and I knew then that Jono like the rest of us loved mum beyond all words.
Then dad was there, nervous, hesitant and yet I sensed he too was pleased to see Jono home. They looked at each other before dad said: “Wonderful to have you home son.” And took his son in his arms and held him tight. We were a shocked lot as we never thought of dad as the emotional type, but right there in our front yard, I saw a side of dad I hadn’t seen before. They stepped back and looked at each other, and I saw tears on the cheeks of both father and son, simultaneously they said “Sorry.” Then they smiled and embraced again, and we wondered the depth of the man we knew as our dad.
Then to add to my surprise, Jono then said: “Mum, Dad I want you to meet Miles.”
From the car stepped another young man, he had a similar fashion sense to Jono, but his complexion was darker, and he too radiated a smile to melt you in your boots.
The two men stood there in front of mum and dad, and there were looks of puzzlement on our parent’s face. Then dad, never the one to show a lot of initiative, stepped up, put out his hand and shook Miles’. “Welcome Miles,” he said, and we took all this in as another learning experience about our dad unfolded in front of us.
As for mum, she took a few days to let it all soak in, finally having a heart to heart with Jono in her effort to understand what was happening to her son.
We kids loved it all, Miles was a great guy, and we saw him as another brother, and that was as cool as it could get.