Home = Heart

In the midst of traveling between Chicago and Detroit, I wrote a quick Twitter/Facebook status update:

Anybody else ever feel “homesick” even though you’re technically “home”? Because that’s how I’m feeling right about now.


Seattle 2010; our last trip with Dad

I made that statement mainly because I had been sorely missing my Dad at that moment. Hubby & I were back in Detroit with the intention of being available for my Mom as she began packing for a three-week trip back to the Philippines. I intended to drive her to the airport the day of the trip, but, as it turned out, I had to be out of town for work. So instead, my Hubby — the awesome man that he is — took her to the airport.

The Monday before I left for my out-of-town business, Mom and I had a chance to spend the day together. We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, followed by a mani/pedi at a local salon.

I should add that, while I know most women are “close” to their mothers, my Mom & and I have never really had that type of “girly-girl” relationship. My Mom was my mother;. She was the authority figure of my childhood. And even though I’m a grown up now and can make my own decisions, I do take into consideration her opinion — even though I may not always follow it.

After the funeral (and after the rest of the world returned to “normal”) I found myself wanting to be closer to Mom. Partly because I wanted to share my grief with her: I wanted to be with someone who could understand the loss of a person I loved dearly.

The other part was because I just didn’t want my Mom to feel so alone. After all, Dr. Bro had Dr. SIL and Emilia Grace. And me? I had my wonderful Hubby; the sole person that has been able to hold me up and keep me together. But my Mom now had no one. And if — God forbid — I had been the one to lose my spouse, I know that I’d be utterly devastated; completely undone.


Photo of the 'rents, using the QuadCamera App on my iPhone


So yes, that is the reason why the day before I flew out of town (and three days before my Mom left for the Philippines), we found ourselves at the salon getting our nails done. Afterwards, I helped her with some other mundane tasks around the house, all the while dreading our good bye. I knew that when I hugged and kissed her for the night, it would be the last time I’d be able to do so for the next three weeks.

Alas, the time had come and I couldn’t put it off any longer. After all, I myself still had to pack for my business trip the next day. So as I kissed and hugged her, I told her to be safe and have fun. This trip was planned months before my Dad’s passing … and it was meant to be a trip full of reunions with her high school and university classmates. And I encouraged her, as always, to call me if she needed anything.

As she hugged me back, she said, “I wish you were coming with me.” And in that instance, I really wish I was. But before either of us could get teary-eyed in front of each other, I stepped out the garage door and waved at her once more as the door began to close.

My car wasn’t even at the end of the street when I called her on my cell phone. “I’m just a phone call away,” I told her once again. And, in between her tears I could barely hear her say, “I know.”

I cried the whole 15-minute car ride back to my Detroit home.


Later that evening, I thought about what it was like to be back in Detroit: back “home”, where I met and married Hubby. The same place where we bought our first home; where we suffered through more than 10 years of infertility.

And I thought about where I had been earlier today: my childhood home. The backyard where I learned to climb trees. The driveway where I learned to ride a bike. And I thought about my childhood bedroom (which is now my Mom’s “computer room”) and the countless memories I had growing up in that house.

And I felt absolutely homesick.

Picture of our 1st Home with Dad and Kozzy as a pup

I wanted to be that child again. I wanted to be at that home, babysitting my younger cousins; playing hide and seek in our 70’s-decorated, finished basement. I wanted to break out my old turn-table and blast out some ’80’s 12-inch vinyl remixes and just dance to my heart’s content. I wanted to play the piano again and pretend I could still be a member of some world-famous rock band. I wanted to be under a blanket on the couch reading a silly book I had checked out of the library.

Most of all, what I wanted was to be under the same roof as my Mom. And my Dad.

I know that’s no longer possible. My Mom … well, despite being worse for wear (what, with the loss of her spouse and all) truly needs her own space to grieve. She no longer needs to “take care” of her adult kids.

And my Dad … well, he’s simply no longer here on this earth.

But my Husband is here; and he’s been here for me through everything that I’ve been through for (close to) 15 years. And in reality, I know that — regardless of whether we’re in Chicago or Detroit — Hubby is my home.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

4 Replies to “Home = Heart”

  1. Emily, I am a lurker who loves your blog, even though I am bad about commenting. Just wanted to let you know that your post today moved me to tears. Your words really captured the heartbreaking nature and yearning of grief in such a palpable way. My deep and belated condolences on the loss of your dad.

  2. Cripes, Em, I am sitting here in my cubicle at work trying not to bawl my eyes out. I’m fortunate to still have both my parents, but you perfectly captured the feeling I get every time I go home to visit them (& then when I have to leave again)(even though I only lived in that house with them for the year in between when I finished school & got married). I think we all sometimes wish we could be kids again & have our mommies & daddies take care of us, even when we’ve reached the point that we’re now starting to take care of them. (((hugs)))

  3. Such a beautiful, heartfelt post…goodness, hope you can feel some virtual hugs I am sending.

    Also, happy early blog-birthday 🙂

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