Some think that life is like a box of chocolates. It’s not a bad metaphor, really, but as for me…
I see it more as a great big puzzle.
It’s our job to make the pieces fit together—to make sense of them, to rearrange them constantly—and to persevere until we see the big picture, which, depending on the day and the light and our faith…
…may not be what we want it to be.
Two weeks ago, I went for a visit to my hometown.
It was the hardest trip home I’ve ever taken.
(Not including those selfish, sulky trips home from college.)
(Man, I could really be a pill.)
Are your parents getting older? Have you already lost them, not to death but to dementia?
If such is the case, I understand.
I am in love with my hometown library.
Or maybe you have siblings who are plagued by emotional disorders— brothers or sisters that you want to help but haven’t a clue as to how you can?
Pull up a chair. Let’s talk about it.
For me, going home is a mixed bag of blessings. It means trying to be strong in who I am while admitting (to myself, to them) that my life neither is nor was perfect.
This is very, very humbling.
It is also why, when I do go home, I always slip away to my hometown library.
He grinned embarrassedly and seemed pleased.
I could lose myself for days in the local library, provided I had plenty of coffee and perhaps a sandwich or two.
“And a sleeping bag,” adds my son.
(He’s reading over my shoulder as I type. As such I’ll give credence to his suggestion.)
I spent many a day at this place growing up, though the books I chose then were not the books I choose now, nor were they (necessarily) books that I’d want my daughters to read.
(But that’s another story for another time.)
(Though I get into it a bit in this post.)
The little girl in us never goes away entirely, does she?
She’s still there, in need of love.
So yes, this particular trip home was very hard. Going home means getting reacquainted—with them, with you, with the ghosts of your past and the fears of your future—and it means facing the uncomfortable fact that you’re all getting older.
Enfin. Going home means saying hello and goodbye.
Over and over and over again.