"I'll be home for Christmas...
If only in my dreams."
The first time some of our children were not home for Christmas was in 2001. Two of them were at the Naval Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, joining the Navy in the aftermath of 9-11.
I could not hear this song without tears.
We will not be at our house this Christmas, but we will be "Home."
Home with family, people close to us, building on memories and making new ones.
Home is not just a place for our feet, but a place for our hearts.
I grew up with the idea that I would have a "dream home" someday. That a building with doors, walls, windows, floors, ceilings, nails, screws, bolts and hinges and a garden would be my nest. Instead, the structure that is "us," our family, is my dream home. Together, as we talk, we build the walls and open our doors to new ideas, new possibilities, new additions. The kitchen is the heart of our home, our table the center of our games and activities; the heart of our holiday gatherings is food. Like a ceiling, we cover it all with laughter. The connections between us hold us like nails, screws and bolts. Watching them grow, pruning them when needed, watering them (feeding them some more), and pulling out some weeds become my gardening tasks. Hinges make me think of the guys wrestling, piling on and over and around each other on the floor. Hinges and doors would also represent the comings and goings, times we can be together, and times we are distant. As we share thoughts, it is like looking through a window to their perspectives of the outside world. The memories are the building blocks that connect it all, forming a home of people and combined places and stability. What I expected would be four walls on a solid foundation has formed a shape that no hands could build. A "home" I'll be happy to go home to for Christmas.