Home is where your heart is…
And home is where your story begins…..
Growing up, my grandparents all lived half a mile from us. And by all, I do mean all because both sets lived across the street from each other up until about 5 years ago. That’s right. My parents grew up across the street from each other.
From the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I spent summer vacations with my mom’s parents – sort of. They were my check in point (which means I usually ran in to make a ham sandwich for lunch and then ran off again with my childhood best friend). I spent my time on my pedal bike, roaming the woods with friends and finding amazing things, such as this waterfall in ‘The Brook.”
Not only was it not a big deal that we explored and had forts and clubs in clearings in the woods, but it was also not a big deal for us to just take off on pedal bike to meet friends.
We had dinner at my grandparents at least once a week. Going to their house after Sunday morning mass was the norm. Or baked beans and red hot dogs with ployes on Saturday nights after they came home from mass (because they always went on Saturday so they didn’t have to get up on Sunday).
It was a completely different way of life…
When I moved away to be with T nearly 8 years ago, it left a huge gaping hole in my soul. I eventually got over it and we made a good life for ourselves away. I still missed being near my family but was shown time and again that it’s only a quick 4 hour drive. And home will always be there for you when you need it.
After Monkey was born, the ache came back. The ache to be near family. The ache for a simpler life. The ache to go home. The time wasn’t right, even if we could have.
After Little Man was born, the ache became even stronger. But I was shown once again that family is just a quick 4 hour drive. Things happened that reinforced the distance is only a small hurdle for if we need each other.
Yesterday while I was at work, my grandmother called me to tell me of a horrible accident my cousin and her 2 young children were involved in. Her children are the same age as mine. I spent hours at the office yesterday with my head and my heart back home waiting for news. We share an aunt and uncle by marriage and my aunt ran to the hospital to be there with and for the kids while their mom was still stuck in the car. I’m sure many other family members rallied together to be there. They were all, thankfully, ok. Broken bones and cuts and bruises are nothing compared to what could have happened.
On my drive home last night, I got to thinking about it and I cried. I could see myself in her shoes and imagine my children being whisked away to be sure they’re ok and being stuck and helpless. If that were to happen to me here, who would be there for my kids? What familiar face would be there at the big, scary hospital to comfort them? Yes, we’ve surrounded ourselves with wonderful people…. but it’s not the same as knowing your family would be there. That Grammy could kiss and cuddle until Mommy arrived. That Great Tatante would be there to try to make you laugh and giggle. That quick 4 hour drive may as well be days in a situation like that.
So now I ache some more. And the hole in my soul I thought I’d patched up slowly starts to rip open again.
Home is where they love you….