Today we spent the day cruising our old 'hood. The kids had the chance to visit their pals at their old school, we had a picnic in the park and stopped to chat with a few familiar faces while we were out and about. I even took a few minutes to visit our old house. It hasn't sold yet so there was no creepy trespassing involved.
I pulled into the driveway to check the mail but I ended up taking a few minutes to wander in the yard that was ours for six years. It was in this house that we went from a family of four to a family of five. We celebrated birthdays and Christmases in that living room, had our yearly 'first day of school' pics taken in front of that red door and spent countless hours around the bonfire in the back yard while the kids climbed the trees, played in their fort and touched the sky on the old tire swing. This was our home.
We also survived some of the biggest challenges of our married life while we lived in that house. It was while we were living there that we discovered that Dude has Asperger's. We lost two babies and almost lost each other. We survived home renovations, school negotiations and relationship reparations. We saw great heart ache, disappointment and discouragement but we also saw hope and miracles and strength.
It was there, in that neighborhood, that I conquered post-partum depression, learned the power of a soft word spoken with absolute confidence and became comfortable in my role as an advocate/mother. It was there that I met friends who encouraged me, inspired me and unconditionally liked me. It was there that I began to understand the purpose of my life. I grew up in that house.
Yet, as I stood there, in that yard, I felt nothing. Not sadness, longing or regret. I didn't miss that place, I didn't wish I could go back and that left me feeling odd and out of sorts. I expected to be homesick for the life we had, the life we loved, while we lived there. I thought I would stand there, in tears, over the last snowman built in the yard, the last trick or treating on that street and the last snooze in the hammock. I expected to feel something, I think I wanted to feel something but I didn't. I stood there for a moment longer, just in case a rush of tears wanted to strike, but it didn't so I got back into the car and pulled out of the driveway.
I drove to the park to meet my pals for a picnic and realised that this is the part I miss. This hanging out, laughing, teasing, swapping stories and catching up with the people who have been my pals, my peeps for six plus years. These people who hung out in my backyard, invited me over for coffee and loved my kids like their own. These people who gave me a shoulder to cry on, a kick in the pants or a helping hand, depending on what the situation called for. These people who don't take anything I say too seriously, who laugh at my jokes and who 'get me.' These people, these crazy, silly, loving, accepting, wonderful people is what I miss, long for and am homesick over. I miss my people.
Its probably true, you can't go back home again but thankfully you can always go back to your friends! Thanks Karen, Julian, Tara, Joanne, Trista, Debbie and Rob for being my pals through thick or thin, near or far and for better or for worse. Knowing you, being friends with you all, has made me a better person. Thank you!
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley