I left home at the mature age of seventeen and, except for one summer, never came back. My mom often reminds me. 😉
Before college, I had lived in the same house my entire life. I attended the same school, first grade through senior year, and was surrounded by extended family.
And even though I needed to find my own path, the place where I grew up would always be home.
A recent visit with my parents caused me to think about the word home. Especially the idea that home has little to do with the actual place.
As I pulled up in the driveway, my dad was waiting under the carport. Mom came right out as if she’d been listening inside for my car. Soon, we were talking about everything from the kids to work, politics, church. And, of course, the pandemic and quarantine.
As an adult, I enjoy this time alone with my parents. Being there by myself means my only role at that moment is a daughter. Even if this visit brought some adult daughter anxiety.
Due to the current pandemic, I had to be very careful about where I stopped on the four-and-a-half-hour drive from our house to theirs. My parents are over seventy, Mom a breast cancer survivor and Dad with diabetes and kidney disease. Their health is currently good, and I couldn’t bear the thought of exposing them to this virus.
My anxiety quickly faded as Dad asked, “How’s my little girl?” Mom said more than once, “I’m so glad you came.” At face value, simple phrases. Yet, they wrapped me in the love and security I experienced growing up.
When going to visit my parents, I say I am going home. And when it’s time to leave, I use the same phrase. I guess both are true. Home is about the people not the places.
I may have to leave tiny pieces of my heart behind when leaving one, but I know they will be refilled upon arrival at the other. Not the same, but new, and whole.
A sweet paradox, traveling from one home to another. ❤
Green Green Grass of Home by Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr.