It is always nice to go back home, but this trip had a greater meaning for me.
It was my goodbye to my home, and I spent a few tearful moments in our backyard, in my room, and in the room that Amber and I once shared. I stood where our gardens once were, which was the most emotionally-charged place, perhaps because it signified what we had grown there.
Brandon jumped on that rusted-over trampoline that housed so many games and fights and victories and even sleepovers.
The grandkids put on a talent show using that same plastic microphone Amber and I used to sing with on that same hearth.
There was food, games, family.
That’s it, really, in a nutshell.
I miss the camaraderie of my family, the feeling of belonging somewhere. I ache for the Pacific Northwest, not for the place but for the belonging and inclusion.
But maybe that’s another blessing of children: once we no longer are the ones being protected and sheltered, we protect and shelter our own. We leave our childhood homes to make new ones for our children.
And we try our damnedest to do as good of a job as our own parents did.