Literally yesterday I was sitting on my therapist’s couch crying about how ever since my mom died, I have nowhere to go that feels like “Going Home”. My mom was my home. We didn’t need to be in the same house where I grew up, she was home. I have been craving the feeling of going home desperately.
My siblings do a pretty alright job of being my home, my place of comfort. I love them more than they could ever imagine, but it still wasn’t filling that void. You see, before my mom married a second time, we had a whole other place we called home. Blanco, Texas. I spent many many years in Blanco. I spent every other weekend, weeks in the summer, holidays… it was where my grandmother was. And that woman was my everything.
There was another family next door. I spent every minute with them, they’d babysit me while my mom and grandmother were at work. Hell, believe it or not, at one point I even knew how to speak Spanish. (don’t ask me now, I can only tell you the bad words).
When my grandmother died almost 8 years ago, I stopped going home. Actually, when I turned 16 I stopped going home, choosing instead to meet her closer to my house at a restaurant for lunch. I couldn’t be bothered to spend weekends there anymore. I was sixteen and obviously far too busy. When she died, I craved home.
My mom would drive me to Blanco every once in a while and we’d slowly drive down the bumpy street and sit and stare at the houses. I’d try so hard to will myself to get out of the car and go talk to that family. I’d chicken out every time. For 8 years I have chickened out. Afraid they didn’t care about me anymore, didn’t really want to see me.
Tonight, on the drive home from spending a great day at my dad’s house, I drove through Blanco and Kiddo asked about the river the house is on. I said, “Mommy used to swim in that river when she was a little girl.” He said, “No. You didn’t. You can’t swim in that river.” Suddenly I just pulled the car over and turned around and said, “Oh yeah? I have some people that can tell you otherwise.” I took a deep breath and I drove to the house.
The man that was like a grandfather to me, taught me to ride a bicycle, taught me more than I could ever imagine, recognized me before I even got out of the car. He hadn’t seen me since I was probably 16, but that didn’t matter, he knew me. He told me he thinks about me all the time, misses me, loves me. Suddenly the whole family was outside with me, talking as if no time had passed. Sharing a thousand memories from our childhoods and laughing. I was home.
I got to see my baby boy sit on the same steps I did, sit in the same chairs I did, run through the same fields I did. He felt at home, I could see it in him. He usually plays shy around adults… tonight he didn’t. He dove right in.
In this moment, I am happy. In this moment, my craving to be home has been satisfied. In this moment, I’m praying they let me come up there a thousand times more.