Sometimes, instead of travelling the Yellow Brick Road and finding adventure and fulfillment… we just need to click our heels and head back to Kansas. In my case, Brownville… I don’t get to Kansas too much. There is something about home, a familiarity… a feeling. I don’t know what it is, a safe I guess.
Life is freakin’ crazy, always is… probably always will be, until I kick the bucket. I am in no hurry to do that, but know that the first time I really slow down will be the day I am buried next to Mads. I think I like this nutty and busy life, and still enjoys lots of it. I do need a break sometimes, well maybe more often, but I do TAKE a break sometimes. This past weekend I headed home. I needed home, my girls needed home… my dog needed home. Did I mention we needed home???
So home we went, all three plus hours of it (really 2.75, but gas stops, pee stops and Boonville Burger King stops… add up). The ride home I felt Madeline. I felt the sun on my shoulder going home… and it made me warm and happy. Inside me I know it was her… telling me to bring her sisters home. We had some normal nutty and bad tantrums on Tug Hill… but mostly I loved the girls talking and playing and rocking out to Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean. It felt like we were our own little family. The comfort and warmth from the sun, alongside a feeling that this was in fact Madeline, made me know we were headed where we needed to be. The whole weekend was like that, just easy. My girls played and hung out with my parents and their cousins. We got pumpkins and had a great afternoon. Weirdly everywhere we went on Saturday and Sunday there was one Monarch butterfly. Only one… it is October… those are supposed to be en route to Mexico. Those butterflies felt like little bits of Madeline telling me “I love you mom, keep chuggin’… I love my family.”
I don’t often get all sappy and symbolic about my trips and the sun and butterflies… but I am telling you it was her. In me I know it… she is here guiding and maybe gifting us life and living. I don’t know how to explain… but I just know in me.
Madeline loved being home, loved her family. She was a connected and thoughtful daughter… I believe she brings that through now too. This weekend was so easy… nothing difficult in it. My girls saw all of their cousins and connected. They celebrated and swung in the new hammocks on the new porch. They laughed from deep in their gut because Lucy wore two different shoes for the weekend… thankfully they were two pink CROCs. I got to snuggle and stare at my new nephew… talk to my sister about his eating and sleeping. I got to change itty bitty baby boy diapers- and managed to not get peed on (score). The girls met Reaner and loved him up… assessing his toes and hands and faces. I got to see old friends and have a few beers after a BIG, crazy and tasty dinner. I didn’t get a run in this past weekend, but I slept well and felt good all weekend. I felt Maddie when I was home.
Sometimes we need to just click our heels and don our red shoes and go home… I believe this is absolutely necessary for a healthy heart, mind and soul. Home can look different than where you grew up, but it is a place that you are safe and welcome and loved. Madeline, Amelia and Lucy are my home… I am home when I am with them. It has taken a long time to feel ‘home’ with no Madeline, and now no Matthew. I am finally starting to get that feeling, that ‘home sweet home’ feeling. You pessimists or nonbelievers think that is just me getting over those losses… but really it is those losses becoming a part of me… becoming a part of ‘home’. I need a trip home to renew and see my family, feel my ‘home’ and breathe my lake air.
Here I am back in my life as I know it… working at the girl’s school, loving it… trying to balance it all… feeling a little bit more me- just from that trip home. That bit of comfort keeps me chuggin’ when the days are long and sad… keeps me focused when life is nuts and crazy and confusing. That taste of home will keep me ‘Erin’ for a while longer.