Christmas Eve morning my two oldest sons and their wives took off for some shopping. Now I would rather be slapped with a wet stick then go shopping on Christmas Eve, but they were determined that it needed to be done. They returned with rustling bags and sly smiles and disappeared to the basement where the wrapping paper was set up.
This is what they put together for me. They found a framed chalkboard and just the right stickers and then put heart shaped gems where we each can be found. I can't even write about this now without tearing up!
I didn't just cry, I sobbed! My heart was broken with the pure rightness of it. Home really isn't a place, no matter how long the history there. When you're loved, home will always be exactly where you stand, where ever that may be.
How silly am I that this is a lesson that I am still learning at my age! And how blessed I am to have sons who are wise enough to teach me. I have always had a feeling of "otherness" about myself, like I just don't quite fit or belong, the perpetual visitor. This sampler is a charming and gentle rebuke. No matter what, I will always be theirs, and they will hunt me down to remind me, even if it means driving half way across the country, or through Chicago during rush hour.
For those of you who are saying, but of course they will, be grateful that you understand that sense of belonging. For me, I was thunderstruck, both that they would come and that they would understand how much it meant, really understand. And perhaps, most of all, what incredible human beings I helped to raise. That's what I got for Christmas this year, I got love. Well, and then strep throat, but that's a story for another time.