Flights are booked! I have been absolutely giddy the past few days now that are family trip is coming together. It’s crazy to think that in just a few months I will be on a plane traveling to where I was born. It’s funny, I always consider it as “going home”, but when I am on my way back here, I also say I am on my “way home”. I saw the quote I pictured above and it hit me how true this rings for me. On one hand, it is hard to have all the people I love scattered around the world, but on the other hand, I am so very, very lucky to have those same people always there to welcome me “home”.
Home is where my house is, a house filled with mess and chaos, but also giggles, laughter, cuddles and intense love. It is where my amazing husband and children are. It is the bed I sleep in with my beloved dog snoring next to me in his bed on the floor. It is where my cat lays sprawled in the sun. It is the place where laundry gets away from me, and I grumble about the mess, but am grateful for a roof over my head. It is where my local coffee place makes my coffee perfectly. Home is running kids to gymnastics and sports, school, and for ice cream. It is where I know I am loved and cherished.
Home is also about 300 miles away, where my dad and stepmother are. Home is where I can go when I need to have downtime, to see them, and where I am told no problem is too big in life. Home is seeing my first hero, who knows me and knew my mom better than anyone else. Home is being spoiled a little bit as only a parent can, but also told when I need to get my act together, like only a parent can. Home is their house on the lake, where I can go sit on their boat and drink coffee and have quiet time. Home is fishing with the kids, going to the farmer’s market by boat, and eating fantastic food.
Home is the house about 5 minutes away from my dad’s house. We don’t own it anymore, and I struggle to visit it, because it holds so many memories, but I drive by anyway because it’s home. Home is a house you don’t even live in anymore, but it contains the memories of the last time I saw my mom, memories of her before she got sick, and laughter…lots and lots of laughter. It’s the place where my mom buried my cat Sam in the yard under the shady trees when I was too crushed to do it. Home is where I spent time growing up.
Home is 3000 miles away, where most of my family still live. It is where I was born. Home is hearing “ey up mi duck” and feeling comforted. It is Flake 99, brilliant colored landscapes, and remembering that time when I attended school there and got chastised for not putting a “u” in the word color. Home is sitting around the table with my aunt and uncle, nights at the pub laughing with cousins, who are the closest I have to siblings. Home is where people know where you come from, know who you were before life took over, and who know all the family stories. Home is where my cousin is, who flew across the world to stand by me when my father remarried because there was “no way I’ll have you do that without family there to support you”. Home is trecking across the emerald colored fields, with dogs at your side and wellies on. Home is seeing a castle out the window. It is the news shop that has been around since before I was born, where I got candy and bought magazines as a kid. Home is going to the cemetery to sit by my mom’s grave and tell her all the news. Home is seeing that orange monarch butterfly landing on my grandfather’s grave after telling him to “look after mum” after she passed away. Home is having your mom’s cousins show up at the pub to surprise you, making you feel really special. Home is trying to get used to grandparents and older generation starting to pass away and feeling a bit lost now that they are gone. Home is love. Home is various homes belonging to family members. Home is the farm house I grew up in, no longer in the family, but that the current owners let me come visit. It is the memories, the love and the fact even though I only get there once every couple of years that I’m stepping right in where we left off.
While I am not a religious person, home is also this church:
This church, with it’s arches, columns, worn stone steps from centuries of use, and heavy wooden door, is a different type of home. This is where my parents were married. Decades later, on the same weekend, it is also the church where I got married. It is where I was Christened, where family members have been married, babies Christened, and walks were taken. It is the keeper of many memories. I still, after all these years, feel a sense of awe when I step through it’s doors. I still remember midnight masses held there. I remember the crunch of the tiny pebbles outside under my feet as we stood waiting for family brides and grooms to step out into the sun. I remember my grandmother looking a bit like the Queen of England at my wedding, while she stood with my son.
Home is also the places we’ve traveled over the years where amazing memories have been created. Home is Heinz field in Pittsburgh, where my husband and I take an annual trek to watch our favorite team play. Home is the Red Parrot in Newport RI, where we head every year for an amazing meal with family (and where we ate on our honeymoon!).
Home is where the love is, where the memories are, where the people who make life special are. I consider myself very lucky to always feel a sense of coming home, no matter where I go. Of course, I always feel like a piece of me is elsewhere, and that is a bit difficult at times. I am sad I don’t get to see my family overseas as much as I would like. I am sad I am missing my cousin’s kids grow up. I wish I was there more. Hopefully, with planning and effort, I can travel there more in the future than I have been.
I can’t wait to go home…..and then, come home.