It's hard to believe but just about this time yesterday we arrived home from our latest visit with my mom. We were blessed with perfect traveling weather both directions and of course the drive is never prettier than it is in the fall. The drive home after a visit with mom is always much different from that of the drive to her house. The way to her house finds my mind filled with excitement and anticipation thinking about the time we will spend together, the plans we've made and the fun we will have checking things off or our to-do list. While on the other hand the way back to our house at visit's end I find that rather than thinking about all of the things we simply ran out of time to do, I ponder the memories we made and the time we spent laughing together. And about how I wished we had so much more time together. And I think about how different my thoughts are now than when I made these trips when I was a younger woman, when we both had so much more time.
When you're young and life takes you away from your family you realize there are things, important things, that you will miss. Initially the very idea is crushing and the thought leaves you barely able to breath. But you take the plunge and leave, vowing to both your family as well as yourself that visits will be frequent and talks daily. And then you find yourself getting caught up in setting up your new life; your home, your job, your new friendships and the sting of being separated from your family begins to numb. Before you know it, you one day realize that it doesn't really hurt anymore and it becomes all too inconvenient, if not impossible to schedule a trip home.
Then one day something happens and you're called home for an emergency, or you just wake up one day and out of no where there is an ache in your heart from home. This time you don't care if it is inconvenient for your life or if it seems impossible to get away, you just do whatever it takes to get home. So after moving what feels like heaven and earth, you embark on your journey home wondering if life as you left it will be waiting in tack for you when you return. Many what if's and did I remember to run thru your mind causing you to question your decision to leave. And then you begin to notice things you had long forgotten about, things that look familiar and invoke memories and you soon you have no cares about what happens while you are gone.
Then you pull into the driveway of your parents home where they wait for you, not caring how long you've been gone or how long you will stay. All that matters is that you've come home. As for you, in a split second you understand how much you have missed being away and you realize that your heart never left home, but rather you left it behind with those you love to hold. It is then that guilt takes hold and you feel incredibly ashamed for neglecting those you left behind. And while the time you lost can never be regained you promise to make the most of the time that remains.
That was me a long time ago. Now Jackie and I cherish each and every moment we get to spend with my mom. She is a hoot and a lot of fun to be around. And not only does she look forward to spending time with us, but she is crazy about her three little "grandsons"! Each and every day I thank God for my mom. And while I cannot go back and redeem the time I lost I am endeavoring to make the most of each and every day I have not only with her but with everyone I love. Life is short and tomorrow is a gift so hold those closely that you love.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.