Driving with my son to the Homecoming football game tonight. He wants some tunes so I put on some country music. On comes John Denver with “Country Roads”.
I hear her voice
In the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And driving down the road I get a feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday!
Home. That’s where all is ok. That’s where good things happen. Family, lots of them. Good food, gatherings, reunions, cousins, dirt bikes, 3-wheelers (remember those), and green apples in July. Belonging. Security.
I remember on the weekend of our annual Freeman family reunion we’d all go to the big church for worship. When I say big church, I mean seats for 1,500. And the pastor would still notice that the huge Freeman clan was taking up about four or five rows and he’d say, “Looks like we have all the Freemans here this weekend.” And I felt good. That was home.
And looking out at the fading sunset and the city lights flying by as we drive to “home” coming, I feel my heart hurt and tears in my eyes. “Home” has changed dramatically since I was young.
Extended family members moved away a long time ago. My sister lives on the other end of the country. Orchards, alfalfa fields and gardens are long gone. The grandpas and grandmas, the great uncles and aunts are almost all gone – as in dead. The first cousins are getting old, wow, in their upper 70’s. And the second cousins don’t have the glue of life to stay together; we’re spread out all over the country. That place of security, where you didn’t have to work for a living, worry about bills, or face the impossible situations of life is gone.
Wow, do I miss it. How I long to go home.