Dec 18, 2009 040

Beneath the surface of snow covered trees, counters lined with freshly baked cookies, and Christmas lights twinkling in the background, something always seems amiss this time of year for me. It’s sense of longing for something that makes me stop in my tracks now and then with a few tears for unexplained reasons, it’s a moment here or there of sadness in the midst of beauty and peace.

Earlier this week Big Little Wolf posted about home. Feeling at home, feeling a sense of belonging, home. She’s grown to be one of my favorite daily reads, because her posts stay with me long after I shut the laptop down. Her post on home especially has stayed in my mind. I left a comment saying that I feel most at home where I know I am loved, so an abundance of places. An abundance of places hold pieces of my heart, whether I’m currently there or not.

Today we did our weekly drive up to my inlaws house. A place that I thankfully feel very much at home. We are loved beyond belief, and we feel it as soon as we can see their house through snowy trees. It’s an hour and a half from us, and a gorgeous drive. We listened to Christmas music, particularly the Alan Jackson song Let it be Christmas that I think I mentioned in a previous post. You can listen to it here. Let me rephrase that, you should listen to it. It’s country, and it’s a tad cheesy with the graphics, but it’s good. Really good. The line From the sandy white beaches where blue water rolls is sung directly to my tear ducts.

With Big Little Wolf’s post in my mind, and Alan Jackson in the CD player, I realized. I’m terribly homesick.

I’m homesick for two inhabitants of a little house on the East Coast of Florida. Thousands of miles away. Where they enjoy Christmas on the beach with picnic lunches packed with sandwiches and gingerbread cookies {I’m guessing, I haven’t been there for that experience yet…}.

I’m homesick for my dad. The way he’ll polish off a plate of cookies after Christmas dinner, pat his belly, and say with a huge grin “I don’t like those cookies one bit!” The way he rests one arm across his chest, tucking his hand into the opposite arm pit, gesturing with the other arm as he talks {and believe me, he has a few good stories}. The way his eyes dance when he sings. His voice, and his big bear hugs, and his love.

And man alive am I homesick for my mom. Her warmth and kindness can be felt miles away. I’m homesick for days spent baking cookies together, rushing to ice them before the frosting hardens. I’m homesick for her soft hair and laughter. The way she lights up a room with her stories {and yes, she has a few as well!}. I’m homesick for her voice, her big mama bear hugs, and her love.

I’ve written posts about my parents, and how much I miss them, and how much the distance between us stinks. But we deal. This time of year it’s especially hard. And this year in particular. Maybe it’s because it’s been two months since my last mom fill, or that the kids are getting bigger and really all I want for Christmas is for everyone to be together. It’s been three years since we’ve all been together on Christmas. I know it’s just a date on the calendar, but it means something. To me. And it’ll happen, one of these years. Until then, we make do. We send a few extra packages and cards during the month of December. We still love, just from farther away. And we’re ok. Just at times, a bit homesick for a few people who hold parts me in them.

Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the songs that we sing and the gifts that we bring
Christmas everywhere
In what this day means and what we believe
From the sandy white beaches where blue water rolls
Snow covered mountains and valleys below

~Let it be Christmas, Alan Jackson


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11 responses to “Homesick

  1. Casey's Mommy ♥

    I get that same feeling around Christmas time, even though my parents are only three hours away.. I think I’m homesick for my childhood, with all of our old traditions that are no longer possible, with family that we’re now the opposite side of the world to.

  2. Oh Corinne, you make me so sad for you. I am so blessed to still have my whole family right here with me. I don’t know what I will do if that ever changes. You are in my thoughts.

  3. I hear you. I went through my whole “jealous of other people’s happy families” thing a couple weeks back. I got it out of the way early, because I’m thoughtful like that. Now I can focus on my boy and making this the Best! Christmas! Ever! for him. Because he doesn’t know our hurts and homesickness. And, I’ll bet, neither do your little ones. Thank goodness they hold a big piece of your heart! I know that wherever my boy is, that’s where my home is. And this Christmas, despite my yearnings or how I want certain things in life to be different, is turning out pretty darn-tootin’ good. =)

  4. I don’t like Alan Jackson AT ALL (and I am Jewish) and I teared up a bit at the end. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is my favorite holiday song ever and always makes me weepy. Merry Christmas.

  5. toby

    It’s something to return to the place you live and feel cold. It’s something to show up to work and see the company (fake) Christmas tree and pause. My apartment is where I live. I’ve been here going on two years, maybe three. but it’s not home.
    I don’t put up a tree. I don’t hang a stocking. It’s just me, there’s no one to share the space with. Sure, i’m an atheist. I could go on for quite some time (especially with a few drinks) about the date and the significance/insignificance of the late December date for multiple faiths…. but it doesn’t matter.
    I miss the stockings hung by whatever flat surface we used to deem a fireplace. I miss the sounds, the excitement, of other people in the morning. I miss home.
    I can drive just over an hour, and almost get there. I can can go and be warm, surrounded by the reminders: the love, the happiness, the smiles… but there’s always at least one stocking missing. There’s always something. I miss not realizing that.
    I’m homesick.
    Thanks for giving some words to hidden feelings.

  6. crnnoel

    Toby, my sweet honest brother, I cannot tell you what sobs you just provoked.
    But all I can say right now, is bring me your stocking, and we will fill it. Love you. And I know. I know. I know. Love you.

  7. This is lovely, and I very deeply relate to these feelings. This is a happysad time of year, I think, with expectations and anticipation and hopes and memories and the ways that those dreams do not necessarily survive their confrontation with reality all collide in a messy stew. Lots of laughter, but some tears.
    I guess that’s okay.

  8. Corinne, I totally get this. It’s a blessing just to have two wonderful parents to miss….but with that blessing comes the pull on the heart when they aren’t there for the big holidays, reading to their grandkids, building a snowman with the little ones, singing carols at the top of their lungs (or maybe that’s just my dad). 🙂
    I’m in the same boat this year. Thinking of you as you ride the wave of homesickness.
    p.s. Love that picture.

  9. Oh, Corrine, this broke my heart. And in a different way, you put into words something I’ve been struggling with. I know I’ve talked with you about the complex relationship I have with my mother…but when the dust settles, she’s my mom, and I love her so completely. This is the first Christmas that I won’t be spending with my parents, and while my husband & I made that difficult descision because it was what we needed to do for our little family…my heart still aches. I’m so very lucky to have them close enough by for the little day-to-day events, and I am so grateful for that. To not have that…I can’t imagine. 😦
    Thinking of you this Christmas season.

  10. Oh, honey. My heart goes out to you. My mom was in the same boat as you are, when we were growing up. Her family was across the country and she never, ever got to see them for Christmas. I’ll never forget the year my dad surprised her with a plane ticket on Christmas Eve, leaving the next morning.

    Love to you. And that exchange between you and your brother had me in tears, too. xoxo

  11. Gosh, I’m struck by your words and your brothers words. You’ve struck a nerve in me. I’ve been too unsure about posting about Christmas. Because, for me this year, and every year since my Brother blew our lives apart, it’s never been the joyful time it used to be.

    Love your honesty. I imagine you’ve just inspired me to be honest about this time of year, too. To myself, to others, on my blog.


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