my dad had a joke for me.
He use to say “you know Sis. They say you can never go home again.”
And wonder if he was serious.
As the oldest of three, maybe they were ready for me to leave.
To be gone, to never return.
If I really could never load up my car and spend summers on their couch,
raiding their refrigerator and forgetting that there was life outside
the cocoon they had lovingly created.
I’m sure they took it hard when I left down that long, winding road for college.
21 miles due north.
Despite the distance, I saw them at least once a week.
And talked to them at least four times.
Sometimes all in one day.
It took a solid 20 minutes from my dorm room parking lot
to their gravel drive way.
The summer between college and law school I moved home.
My dad changed his joke.
“Sis, they say you can’t go home again.”
“But I have no idea who ‘they’ are, so feel free to come home whenever you want.”
I never did move home after that summer.
I think a part of me regrets it to this day.
I mean, who doesn’t love your mom making breakfast and doing your laundry?
(I wonder if she’ll move back in.
Law school meant studying and studying meant late nights at the library.
I kept an apartment on the west side of campus,
north in the City,
almost 40 miles from my parents’ front porch.
Then The Hero appeared and well, I had a new home.
Wherever he laid his head was my address.
But I never forgot Dad’s reminder.
That if I ever needed a place to rest, to relax, to be who I am,
that the front door is always open.
It’s one of the first things I want my children to know about The Hero and I:
The front door is always open.
You can always go home.
When I left you lovely blog readers last, we had a dilemma in our adoption planning.
I fought it.
With prayer and Italian heritage stubbornness,
I knew there was no way God was calling us back home.
The Hero and The Angel were adamant I was wrong.
The Dinosaur was unpersuasive.
Could we return to the land I loved again?
Wouldn’t God place us some where else?
Why could this country, these people, that boy, those memories, why couldn’t they be still.
Why couldn’t they let me be still?
Why was I always called back there?
And then one day, it hit me.
Dad’s words from so long ago.
Because this place, that boy, those memories, they were one thing to me:
That continent that hangs on my neck,
that stirs in my heart.
That landscape where our ministry, our business, our family rooted and grew.