I drove to Roswell (just north of Atlanta) on Thursday to see my sweet family. I stay with my brother and his wife and they always treat me like a princess. My niece and nephew come to see me with their significant others and my mother and her guyfriend are always over. I am spoiled when I'm in Roswell. But I'm starting to realize what really draws me back there more and more often: It's HOME!!!!!
So many times during the last three years I have felt like a homeless waif. I don't feel connected to Dade City, where I'm living. It was Greg's and my dream place, but we were only here a couple of years before he got sick. Although I have made some wonderful friends here, I don't feel rooted. St. Pete, our former home, holds lots of memories but few friends remain there. Thomas and Leah are out on their own and subject to moving as their careers carry them here and yonder.
Spiritually speaking, I know I belong to the family of God, but as my earthbound weak self, I'm suffering from a lack of a sense of belonging. I've been reading a good book by a single woman who laments that this is often characteristic of singles and we all deal with it differently.
I have always been blessed with many friends, and my circle continues to widen as I venture out of my comfort zone and discover new people and places. Nevertheless, I feel belongingless. Except when I'm in Roswell.
Though we don't see each other often enough, I am part of an extraordinary family of warm, fun-loving, creative and generous southern folk. We are a mishmash of interests, talents and philosophies, but we don't care much about how we're different. When we're together we spend most of our time laughing (usually at each other. It seems I'm always reminded that I had pinworms as a child). We don't argue, never criticize (well, my mother does but it's just about my makeup. She thinks I should wear more), we roll our eyes a lot, but never get mad. We go bowling (my mother, at 85, can loft that ball halfway down the lane), play and sing music together, eat Mexican food and sit around telling stories (the same stories that we've told over and over, like when Uncle Bub hit his thumb with a hammer and got so mad he dove head first into a water drum and almost drowned. We're all crazy.)
Someday, after Alaska and where ever else God leads me, I'm pretty sure I'll end up back in Roswell. My name is already carved on a headstone there, next to my father, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and yes, great-great grandparents.
I belong to my loving family and one of the greatest blessings of my life is going HOME.