I’ve been feeling a certain way lately for which I have no word. We moved recently and I left behind my 22 year-old daughter, Melody, my stepchildren, and two of my siblings and their families. Add to that my friends and church family. It was a lot to leave, but God called us to this new home and we knew we needed to follow. It wasn’t just difficult for me — my husband and children left behind family and friends, as well. They left behind the only state they had ever called home and traveled over 1,000 miles to begin a new life that I truly believe is a blessing.
We have a clean slate here. Nobody knows our history — nobody needs to know. Melody said that it will be good for people to start knowing us for the amazing people that we are, instead of our past. We have been blessed with a wonderful new house that we are slowly making into a home. We have yet to venture out into a social situation, but in time I think we will feel comfortable enough to begin developing new friendships.
I really like it here. I’m glad to have a larger home where we can all spread out and not feel like we are on top of each other. We chose this house because it could easily accommodate nine children. Atticus and I made sure his children knew how much we wanted them with us. Before we moved his kids told us they wanted to petition the family court for permission to come live with us. Two of them are old enough to do so and we were so glad to know they wanted to come with us.
Now we are here, settling in, and I’m not homesick because the state we moved from had ceased feeling like home to me many years ago — but my heart grieves the separation from my loved ones. I miss my daughter. I cry when I hear a song she introduced me to or when I make spaghetti. Not because she loves spaghetti, but because it was usually what we were eating for dinner whenever she would drop in and eat with us. I miss my step-kids, especially my step-daughter and her lovely, gentle spirit. Scout asks me frequently when the kids are coming to visit because she has no concept of how far away they are.
Atticus stays pretty quiet about how he feels, but that doesn’t mean he’s not missing them. I think it means that it’s obvious that he misses them and doesn’t need to say it. My heart hurts for him because I could not ever have the strength to live apart from my little ones.
My sister-friend posted a word on Facebook this morning that started me thinking about what I was feeling if I wasn’t homesick. The word was hiraeth and it means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.
That might be as close as I can come to a word to describe my feelings, although I’m grieving the people, not the places. So, it’s close, but not dead-on.
I know I’ll never stop missing the people I love whom I cannot be with as often, but I know eventually my heart will become accustomed to the feeling and accept it. God is stretching me — stretching all of us — so that He can mold and use us.
I’m excited to see what’s coming…