Here lately, mother has been telling me that she wants to go home. She has met me at the door twice this week with her pocketbook, asking me if I was taking her home. She has gone through a cycle of this before, but usually will get over it by the next day.
I must admit, I have always been a home body myself. Growing up, nothing was more important to me than getting home, changing into my gown and sitting on the couch, watching Lost in Space and Bonanza while nursing a bowl of chocolate ice cream with potato chips crumbled up on top. Several trips away to Girl Scout or 4-H Camp ended up with a "I wanna go home" from me, leaving mother and daddy no choice but to drive miles to get me or else send me back with a total stranger. Back in that day, no one thought anything wrong with this reasoning.
I have just called to check on mother for the afternoon. She sounds so like herself that I'm feeling as if she has gotten over this homesickness of hers. Just before we say goodbye, she asks me if she can talk to me for a minute longer. I naturally say "what is it?" "Well she says, I just don't know how much longer I'm going to be staying in this house" she says. I try to convince her again, that this is her house and she has lived here for the past 18 years. She won't hear of it and tells me that when we hang up, she's going to go look in the closets and see if she has any clothes there.
I'm not sure exactly which "home" it is that mother is wanting to go to. Is it the home where she grew up, situated just below White Oak mountain? The place where she grew up with her mother and father and eight siblings; two from her father's second marriage. Mother had a well rounded and happy childhood there as she has told many stories to me about she and her brother Ralph and all the farm work that she was made to do, but had given her a good work ethic.
One story I fondly remember, was the time that her Dad had told her brother Ralph to go and get their mule from the pasture. Well, because Ralph was older than mother, he felt he could boss her around, so, instead of him going after the mule, he sent mother to do the chore. As mother tells, this certain mule was a little on the mean side and unlike her, had no bosses. Just like Ralph told her to do, she headed on down to the field to get the mule. As she climbed over the fence rails, she noticed it heading her way. Afraid that she would get trampled, she hurriedly climbed back over the fence. Just as she did, the mule jumped over with her, then she jumped back and the mule jumped back with her, again and again. I have laughed at this story so many times, just to imagine my mother as a little girl of no means, being in a predicament of this magnitude.
Or possibly, the home mother truly longs for, is the place she called home for some forty years as a wife and mother. A woman who loved, laughed and nurtured her children and husband in a house built on a piece of land that her daddy John had given them. Only to leave it after daddy died, remarried and built the home with her late husband Yates which she now lives in some 15 miles away.
One can't help but wonder about another home of mother's, Heaven. If there's anybody who I know for sure will be leaving here and going to heaven, it's my mother. We all have in our minds and hearts, beautiful thoughts of our loved ones, especially our mothers. I can honestly say that I was raised by a mother who actually cared about who her children would turn out to be someday. She has always had an unselfish love and compassion for her fellow person. Something that not many of us can say about ourselves.
Today I feel sad about her wanting to go home but not knowing where. I can only pray that she can find some peace in the house she now lives until the Lord calls her home for good.