This past weekend I was cuddled up on the couch with my littlest guy Benny. I gave him a big hug and said “Boy do I miss my Benny hugs. What are you getting too big to hug your momma now that you’re in first grade?” He looked at me quite seriously and said “Yes. We have to separate.” “What do you mean we have to separate?” I ask a little confused. “We have to be separate. Big people move away, get jobs and drive cars. They separate.” I said “You don’t have to leave yet. You’re only 6 years old.” “Yeah, I think I’ll wait until I’m 10 to get a job.” I hugged him tight, laughed out loud and felt a little pang in the general area of my heart.
Big people separate…..a very big truth coming from a very little guy.
My husband and I were watching a TV show together. The main character had lived through 3 seasons of huge, life changing events. His goal throughout the whole show was just to make it back home to the people he loved. Finally, he made it back!! Yet he no longer fit. Everyone else was the same but he wasn’t. Fundamentally he had changed. In the end he left again for the great unknown, fighting bad guys and keeping the people he loved, but could no longer relate to, safe from horrors they could not imagine.
Sometimes you can’t go home….a harsh truth born by an imaginary hero but truth just the same.
I have been feeling homesick for my family and friends back east these last few weeks. The past few years there has been a big family event for me to go home for in the early fall. This year there is not. I keep track of the big family news through phone calls with my mom and watch my nephews and nieces grow through the limited, blurry window of Facebook and yearly Christmas cards.
Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE TX and I would not trade our lives here for anything. We have fabulous friends that have become like family to us. I love the small town life, the fact I know someone on almost every corner of several neighborhoods. I love the open hearted culture that my boys are being raised in, the strong faith we have encountered in so many.
Oh but I do miss walking into my Grandma’s house and seeing the same candy jar sitting on her end table that was there when I was a kid. I miss girl’s nights with my sisters, watching movies and eating dinner. I miss the smell of my momma’s house, the sound of my brothers fighting and laughing (they were always doing one or the other), “men’s meetings” at our house that had nothing to do with Bible study and everything to do with Texas Hold’em (and were quite boisterous at times ;), the smell of my Dad’s aftershave. I miss laughing with my aunties and Momma until tears streamed down our faces.
But what I miss most of all is that even when I go back, I can never go back. We are all grown up and the winds of life have changed the landscape of who we are dramatically. I am proud of what my individual family members have become and accomplished. I am proud of their families, choices and characters. Still these truths remain: Big people separate and sometimes you just can’t go home, bittersweet truths that cannot be escaped. So tonight I pay homage to the years past, the laughter and tears, the pain and the pleasure. I pay tribute to those who have departed this life to soon, I still look for you in the crowd when I hear a certain laughs or smell a certain scents. Your places in my heart still remain. Sometimes you can’t go home but another truth remains: you can carry home forever in your heart. Lots of love-Kristine