Marcia’s Law – Homecoming
“Homecoming means coming home to what is in your heart.”
The first Thanksgiving my son did not come home was when he was studying abroad in London. He and his fellow compatriots scoured the London groceries for those American staples; cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and a turkey. Londoners were baffled by their requests and useless in providing them.
But, they scavenged a Thanksgiving meal reflective of the first Pilgrims; anyway, it was a good party even though a chicken served as the centerpiece of a somewhat disparate array of food groups from around the world.
He was scheduled to call that day. And I was fine. I was even all right when I stuffed the turkey. I was okay when I prepared a pumpkin pie. And I was still in pretty good shape as I set the table for our guests…but when that transatlantic phone call came, I fell apart. I missed him so much, my heart ached.
Many Thanksgivings have passed since that first time my son wasn’t home. And, since then, he has been here for some; missed others. But this year again, he is home. And I am immensely grateful that, not only does he WANT to come home, but that we have provided a home for him to come home to.
It is a bittersweet homecoming in many ways. I reflect on all the homecomings that won’t happen this year: I ache for my aunt whose daughter can never return home because she died of breast cancer, and for my best friend who lost her daughter to complications from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, and for the woman at the Health Club whose grandson was recently killed in a car accident. I feel so fortunate to have my own children alive and with me at this time.
I ache too for those parents who have chosen to let go of their children because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. They have lost so much and, even though they made that choice, they too are suffering…although perhaps not much as their children who feel they cannot return…I hurt for them all.
But, despite our long, rocky, sometimes tempestuous history, MY son is coming home. And I am mighty glad!
Because it means that, despite all the times I got it wrong, at some point, I actually got it right. It means that, despite a houseful of relatives, some of whom are challenging to deal with and almost impossible to relate to, he is coming home to what is in his heart; people he loves and people who love him.
It also means that he knows he is accepted here for who he is. There are no more secrets. There are no more surprises. And, with all our flaws, weaknesses, and missteps, we are a family that loves each other.
It means too that the forces of evil who think they can destroy us because of who we are or who we love have lost a round. At least in my house, they can gain no purchase! We are the winners here.
I AM grateful this year. My son is coming home to a country that is beginning to accept him, a house that is welcoming, and a family that loves him not in spite of who he is but BECAUSE of who he is. THAT is a perfect homecoming.
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…
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