I was looking forward to go home to see my folks. I was looking forward to see my homeland in Spring time, the most beautiful of all the seasons. I didn’t even really mind the long trip, some 32 hours from start to finish! Overcome by emotions that I can’t quite put my finger on, I cried when the plane finally touched down.

Schlepping my suitcases out of customs I was greeted by Dad, my Grandma and my niece. She had taken the day off to come along to pick me up! I was elated to see their smiling faces, but a piece of my heart seized up by a sharp stab of pain. I still can’t get used to the fact that my Mom will never stand right outside customs again.

On the way home we drove in and out of rain. A bright rainbow appeared and I silently sighed. There was the welcome home my Mom sent me from heaven. Arriving at my Dad’s house felt strange. It looks and feels different. After two years he finally started to put my Mom’s things away and rearranged the house a bit. There is nothing wrong with that, I am happy that he found himself again and is personalizing his living space accordingly. It feels odd to me and in time I will adjust.

My first day back we had a family reunion of my Dad’s side of the family. It was fun to see so many of my uncles, aunts and cousins again. The family is big (they were 15 kids) and family reunions are loud and lively affairs. It made me forget how I felt the day before and that coming home just doesn’t feel the same any more. At the end of the day there was another rainbow, even brighter this time. My aunt sat next to me and said, “look, a greeting from our loved ones in heaven”!

The second day back I decided to be lazy, look through some old family pictures, do some research on my ancestors and continue the family tree my Mom had started years ago. I’ve always wanted to do that and took the family reunion as a chance to ask my eldest aunt for more of our family history.  I got some valuable information and it confirmed certain things that I had already known. I felt engaged and yet had a sadness come over me.

Today, my third day, I feel broken. I keep looking up expecting to see Mom come out of the house to join me on the patio. The weather is nice and I have no reason to feel sad. But I miss her, I miss her so much. This isn’t the first time I came home since she passed and while I missed her last time as well, this time it hurts physically. It is gut wrenching, breathtaking pain in my chest. And I know that I have to face it, to brave it, to go right through it in order to come out on the other side.

My broken pieces will float in the sea of life for a while and then join back up together. Family will keep me afloat until I am ready to be whole again.

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