One thing we perhaps didn’t think through deeply enough when we made this move: how not having a home was going to affect each of us.
We sold our lovely home in San Diego, knowing that we likely wouldn’t return to the neighborhood again in ten or twelve years. That made all kinds of sense to us…at the time.
What I hadn’t anticipated was the enormous abyss left within us by not having a place to call home. San Diego is no longer “home,” at least not right now. When the kids visit there, they can stay with friends, but it isn’t home. Of course, they still love it, but it’s a bit empty now. Scott drove past “our” house last week. Said it hurt, but now he’s done it, like pulling off a band-aid. Aubrey says she’s leaving the band-aid on for a while longer.
When homesickness hits me, I picture our house and the kids there…and then realize, never again. That’s really hard. At the moment, I can’t picture us all together in a home; I hate that. We have Mom and Dad’s place in Santa Barbara, and Portland, thank God. Both are a refuge for all of us. But we don’t any of us really belong now.
There’s no “home” where the kids can gather with their friends in front of our “hearth.”
We’ve always told the kids that home is where the heart is, meaning we will be their home. But I had no idea how hard this was going to be, to be “rootless.” Aubrey is trying to find her way, but has no reason yet to put down roots anywhere. And Scott has two more years at Santa Clara, for which I am extremely thankful. He’s got a place there, and friends. But after that?
Where will be go after this tour? We think it might be the U.S., since Tom is required to have a tour there pretty quickly. At this point, ANYWHERE in the U.S. sounds amazing. We’ll be able to “set up camp” there for the family, and gather whenever we want. But after that…we might be halfway across the world again, and then where will home be?
I believed when Tom was offered this job that it was part of God’s plan for us, as a couple and as a family. I am still certain of that. He is taking care of each one of us in the way we each need; and we all know that we’ll grow incredibly through this experience. But that doesn’t really make it any less painful. If I could see the future, and know where we will end up, that would help. I could picture and dream.
We don’t fit in anywhere now. Of course, all of the family has extended their hands to the kids, offering them a homebase anytime they need it. To us, as well. That offer is worth so much more than they know.
The Brazilians have a word which they say has no English equivalent: saudade (pronounced sow-dodge-ay). It means a pain in the heart, infinite longing, and a sadness that hurts. Okay, we might not have one word that means that, but we certainly know those feelings!
On homesick days, I ache for what we had. I know that we’ll have it again in the future, but for now, I sometimes long for what was. Saudade.