Home... home is such a relative word these days. Is a home where you live? Is it where you used to live? Is it where you have the most memories? Is it a combination of those things and much more? And when does home stop feeling like and being home?
I really haven't lived in Canal Fulton, Ohio since September 1993. Sure there was the summer of 1994, and quarter breaks, but as far as living there, it's been over 13 years. But yet when we go back to visit our family or for holidays, we still say we are going "home". My dad tells me we are coming for a "visit", but it still feels like home to me.
I lived in Columbus for 4.5 years (minus those school breaks) and while it was "home" for those few years, it seemed more like a stopping place. I think for those who leave after college, many feel this way. It was a place I lived, made some of the greatest friends and met my husband, had great memories, had my 1st child, earned a degree, yet looking back now it was never "home" to me.
Then came DeKalb. Another 4 years, grew as a person, made friends, had two more children, then it was time to move on. Again, it was home while I was there, yet it was just another stopping place in my life.
Decatur. Lived there for 4 years. Yet not since Canal Fulton had someplace felt like home. I don't know if it was the people. If it was that we were involved in lots of activities with the school, gymnastics, church... but something just felt, well, right. Leaving there was one of the hardest moves we have made. We went back this past weekend for a whirlwind visit and it was hard for both Em and myself. I didn't get to see everyone on my list but for those we did, it was like we never left. Emily and all her giggly friends fell right back into place like she had never left. Chris still picked fights with Jamie's kids like it was yesterday. And Sam and Noah and Hannah ran around like fools, just like they did 3 months ago. I am not sure when the next time we will see some of the people there. It may not be until next summer.
As for here, I am starting to enjoy it. I love, love love the area. I really like the house and I think that after I get things where I want them (that's your job this weekend Jamie) I will really love the house. I am starting to meet people and enjoy myself here. I told Emily a month ago that once she accepted the fact that we aren't moving back and that this is where we need to make our "home" her life will be much easier. That liking it here and making new friends doesn't mean we can't have friends and memories elsewhere. Distance doesn't break a friendship. In fact, I think it can strengthen it, if both parties are willing to make efforts. I know that is true in my life and I know it will be in hers. Between email, snail mail and ma bell she will be just fine. And know what I am realizing... I will be too.