Battling Homesickness and the Gaps in My Heart
This morning I’m feeling a bit homesick. This is not new or unusual for me as it’s become something that I’ve just grown accustom to since I moved to Minnesota. I usually have a hard time pinpointing the exact reason why it hits, but not this time. This week marked the two year anniversary of the death of a friend of mine and we’re also coming up on the two year anniversary of the death of my grandpa. To say that 2014 had it’s fair share of heartache would be a tremendous understatement. I understand the psychology around an Anniversary Reaction – I even wrote about it one time – but facts don’t always ease pain.
So this week I am giving myself a little extra self-care, taking a few more things off of my plate, and focusing on the memory of two amazing people who touched my life. This morning, in the quest to feed the sense of lacking homesickness brings, I pulled out my Folgers coffee and filled the mug that was once my grandpa’s. Isn’t it amazing how certain smells instantly transport you to another place and time? In a moment I am brought back to those tins of ground coffee that my grandpa would use and the way he would sip his coffee while reading the paper.
This morning while I was drinking my coffee from his mug, I took the time to really study it. With big blue lettering wrapping around the entire width, it reads – My Granddaughter Is In The Air Force. And right then it occurred to me in a new and deeper way…he was proud of me. Not that I didn’t hear it or feel it before, but sometimes something you’ve always known can be felt in a way that it hasn’t been felt before. And really, how many people in your life can you say are truly deep down proud of the person you are?
Isn’t that one of the hardest parts of saying goodbye to a loved one or moving away from the home you’ve always known? There are only so many people in this world that know you and each one of them impacts you in an unique way. When that person is no longer there an empty spot is created that cannot be filled. I think that with time the sharp and jagged edges around these gaps soften, but the gap still remains.
When my homesickness hits or pain returns over those I’ve lost I can’t help but hold my other loved ones a bit closer. Those closest to me hold a place in my heart that I never take for granted. I think that as we get older it’s more difficult to find people that can rise to that same level of love, closeness and familiarity. Maybe it’s because they haven’t been along for the ride of all of your growth and change? Or perhaps it’s because the open spots in your heart become dearer to you with the increased knowledge of how sacred those relationships are. Whatever the reason I know that as life goes on, no matter how many new relationships I make, they will never take the place of those gaps that I still strongly feel. And that’s okay because when I look out at my family and friends I see years of love, memories and exchanges that only become more valuable with time.