The Astor Blog

An Astonishing Gift: Astor Memories from Harry Brown, Part II

A staffer drove me to my mother’s home for my first visit at Thanksgiving time. We traveled by train and sometimes Greyhound through Grand Central Station up to Boston. I eventually made the trips alone. I learned to love independent travel at this time­­–I have since traveled far and wide.

I was out of my element when I eventually moved to Boston, naive on all levels regarding every facet of my life and future! Primarily, home life was difficult. I initially gravitated to something familiar: When I was five and six I was an altar boy at the local church, which became a contentious family issue.

My Grandmother ruled at home, as did my mother since there was no father figure. Mother was really struggling to make the family whole against very strong odds—single parent, poverty and “the projects”. My siblings turned out to be typical; we rarely got along so we each had our own friends and did different activities.

I’m left with a series of thought provoking questions. How did I feel then and now? Was I homesick for Astor or for Boston? Can it be both? Does it matter more now? How do I feel  about family, and parenting? There is no doubt the influence of my pre-rescue, subsequent Astor residency and family reunion shaped who I am.

Click here to read the previous post in the series.