Homesick

As I told my son to go to bed for the fifth time this Mother’s Day evening, I reflected on how patient my mom was with me.  How she never turned me away when I tiptoed into their bedroom at night, trying not to wake my Dad.  How she’d scratch my back and my arm to lull me back to sleep.

A dull ache overwhelmed my heart for the first time in months, and I immediately recognized it as it settled in like an old friend.  Homesick.

I inwardly laugh that there was a time not very long ago when I wanted nothing more than to put distance between myself and my southern roots.  To leave the endless humidity, the obsession with college football, and the wretchedly hot summer days.  I longed to explore the other forty-nine states.

Less than a year after getting married, that’s exactly what I did.  We left.  And two cross country moves and nearly five thousand miles later, I realized something.  South Carolina is in my blood.  I can’t escape it.

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I look back at the woman I was nearly eight years ago, and though my roots haven’t changed, I have.  I’ve been stretched and pulled and forced outside the zone of comfort I’d built around myself.  My faith was renewed during those years of packing, repacking, not knowing where we were going to live or how we were going to build a new life.

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When you move away from the place where you’re rooted, your definition of home changes.

I gave birth to my first son nearly a continent away from the place where I spent my childhood.  Utah, with it’s majestic peaks, spectacular sunsets, and crystal crisp rainbows became our home.  Our new friends became our family.

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Then, after nearly four years, we did it all over again.  The mountain side of Maryland, with it’s rolling hills and small town feel became the place we would welcome our second son.

I wouldn’t trade the way these experiences have shaped me.  How each move has pushed me to seek community and friendship.  My sense of control was replaced with complete surrender to the God who makes all things new.

My relationship with my husband became stronger than the forces which threatened to pull it apart.  We were driven to rely on each other through every struggle which came and passed.

But tonight I am homesick.  I know that no matter how many times we move and rebuild, my anchor is rooted in the Palmetto tree state.  And that anchor is deep.

Phone calls, texts, and Skype conversations can never replace a hug and a face to face conversation over a glass of sweet tea.

Like an accent that creeps back into my voice when I’m around my family, South Carolina will always call me back.  With her sandy beaches, real barbecue, calabash shrimp, and sentences that start with y’all.

Instead of trying to fight the call, I will let it settle like a slow refrain that gives rhythm to my step.  As I dance my two-year-old to sleep and sing with that southern drawl creeping into my tongue, I know I will be okay.

I will be more than okay.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Homesick

  1. Hi Abby. I can definitely relate. I live half a WORLD away from my mama (not quite, just 9 time zones.) I do miss home, and can definitely relate to what you’re saying about growing closer to your husband through the moves. That’s happened in our family too.

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    • Thank you for your encouraging words, Betsy. It’s comforting just to have someone who can relate. Thoughts and prayers for you today, and thanks so much for stopping by.

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  2. I relate so much to this. We moved away for 10 years right after we married, and moved around a lot. It is so hard, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Thank you for sharing. This brought back many memories and made me grateful all over again.

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    • Thank you for your encouragement, Kasey. I feel the same way and I know that God has used these experiences to build our faith. Good to hear from you. 🙂

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  3. My experience has been quite different in that I’ve never moved further than 2 hours away from my hometown – for better or worse. There are certainly times when I’ve felt like I needed more distance from my roots, but more times that I’ve been incredibly thankful for their closeness. I wonder, though, how my relationships would be different (especially with my husband, as you mention) if we didn’t have as much support from family nearby.

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    • Katie, we’re a little over an hour from my in-laws now, and it really does help to have family close. When you have kids you want their grandparents to see them and build a relationship. I’m still about 9.5 hours from my family, which is closer than we were but still hard at times. Thanks for your thoughts today.

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  4. Pingback: Far But So Close | Fearfully Made Mom

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