My Godfather is an amazing man. I have spent many hours sitting in conversation with him trying to soak up his wisdom and advice. When I was about to move away from home and embark on the military life a few years ago, he said something that I think of often. As I was sharing with him my anxiety about leaving my family he told me, "Andrea there is a lot of truth to the term 'home is where the heart is' and I think your anxiety stems from your young age. You will learn, over time, that home is not where your parents are, or the town you grew up in, but it is the place where your husband and children are."
Flash forward two years later after living away from home for a year. My in-laws, also very wise people, give my husband advice that I also think of often. There advice was, "you are not an island. Just because you move away from home, you can't separate yourself from the one's you left behind. They are still your family."
To be honest, I don't think I have really learned or embraced my godfather's advice yet. I still cry every time my children have to say goodbye to their grandparents and my heart still really desires to live closer to them. I struggle with this a lot because my head wants to tell God, "Your will be done Lord, send us where you please next tour", while my heart cries, "Please Lord just send us somewhere close to home. Close to our family." I know most people in society today would say it's good to get away from your parents and the place where you grew up; to become independent and separate yourselves. But to be honest I don't feel that way.
I want my kids to know their grandparents and aunts and uncles, not just visit them twice a year. Am I saying I want to move in next door to my parents or in-laws? No, but driving distance would be nice. Yes, it would be cool to tell people we spent two years in Europe and yes it is a once and a lifetime opportunity. But how does that compare to having a personal relationship with extended family? How does travel around the country compare to memories of your grandfather teaching you to fish, or laughing up a storm in the living room with that grandma who dances every time a song comes on? Everyday memories, not just holiday memories.
Maybe I just need to spend more time embracing my family here and not thinking so much about what comes next or where we will be stationed. Maybe I just need more time to "grow up" and I won't feel this way anymore. But I wish it would happen soon so my heart would stop hurting and learn where home really is.
Alive not Dead: an Adventure through Life
2 years ago