Mary, a repatriated Flint Expatriate, writes about her return home:
I was raised on the Westside of Flint, and it saddens me that kids in that neighborhood aren't able to experience the idyllic childhood that I remember.
I moved to San Francisco in 1981 and returned to Flint in 1994. I work at Kettering now and feel fortunate to have a job. It's so tough for many people to find work.
When I first moved back, people questioned my sanity. San Francisco is an incredibly expensive city, and I lived there during a golden time of affordability. I used to live in the inner Richmond district, and I had my below-market-value apartment for 9 years. My landlady was the aunt of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She went to Washington for his swearing in. It was a great neighborhood bordering the Presidio off of Lake Street. I really was lucky to live there for as long as I did.
Once I lost my cheap apartment to the landlord's granddaughter, I felt it was time to come home and help my aging parents. Things always happen for a reason. I had six years with them that I wouldn't have had if I'd stayed in SF. They passed away in 2001.
I met and married Michael, the love of my life, in 2000. I had always wondered what I'd be doing in the year 2000. I never guessed that I'd be getting married! It was the first (and only) marriage for both of us. I lost him all too soon. He died of a heart attack on February 1, 2007. He was only 51.
I hadn't thought about it, but I am a San Francisco expatriate now. As much as I love SF, I've always been a Midwestern girl at heart. I hope that I'll be able to see Flint reborn sometime in my lifetime. Hope springs eternal in me.