While I am very much grown up, with children of my own, going to visit my parents feels like going home. Home is not about the geography of where they live, but the ambiance, the feeling of being with them, and feeling their love. My parents no longer live in any of the homes I grew up in, I consider we had three, the one where I was brought home to as a newborn, in a suburb of Dallas. Our second home was in a suburb of St. Louis where we moved when I was 6, and stayed until my departure for college. Lastly those summers and winter breaks were spent in their lake house, farther from St. Louis, but I was still given my own room, not a guest room.
My parents now live in a retirement community, a place with a continuum of care. From Bungalows, to apartment independent living, to assisted living and lastly skilled nursing care. Moving them three years ago was traumatic, giving up driving and space, but they are now safe, and happy and surrounded by similar age people and many more activities.
So no, it’s not any home I lived in, but it’s filled with photos and artwork and knick knacks and smells of my childhood home. My mom still tries to bake special treats when I visit, and she asks me what I’d like for breakfast so she can grocery shop and have it all. When I visit we typically go out to eat, and stay up late talking, about just anything at all. My mom and I also stay up and read, and share books we’ve read…I have loved introducing her to new writers.
This visit is also bittersweet, because my dad is still in rehab, and he’s none to happy about it. He has been there about seven weeks, and will be there another three to four. As I’ve shared before, my dad is 87, and suffered a small stroke and fall just before Christmas. He’s got to be able to use his walker, and take care of his personal needs before he goes home. It’s a long battle, that often brings me to tears, and I pray he can accomplish it.
So please think of me, I’ll be on fb and twitter, and I might even squeeze in a blog update beyond reviews.
Going home……what does it mean to you?