The packing is mundane and tedious work. It takes an unusual amount of time. I keep getting distracted with the goodbyes. Not all of them are “good-bye”, most of them get to be “see you later! “ The goodbyes are painful and sad; the others are hopeful and happy.
It is Christmas break. We are going home! To each of us that looks like something different. To some it looks like snow and mountains. To others, it looks like a farmhouse on the plains. What does it look like to me? I wonder.
Is it my beloved mountains?
Is it my cozy small town?
Is it my crazy and excited black lab?
Is it the Christmas tree in the window?
All of these things mean a great deal to me, but I don’t think that they encompass the feeling of home. What is it?
My thoughts are distracted by another friend coming to say, “See you in January” I look at my suitcase and notice that I still have a lot of packing to do before tomorrow. I notice that I also need to clean my room. I am just ready to go home. There it is again, that word, home. What does it mean to me?
Is it my family?
Or is it my old stuffed animals?
Yet again, I cannot pinpoint what that word means to me. I shrug off the thought. I simply want to finish my work so that I can go to sleep. It is starting to get late. After an hour, my work is done. I am all packed; all except for my necessities for the morning. My room is clean, cleaner than it has been all semester. My bed is calling my name. I turn out the lights and fall into a deep and blissful sleep.
Its morning, I am anxious to get home. I have one test to get through. In the middle of the test I am thinking about my family. How am I supposed to be able to focus so close to leaving? It is impossible. I am at the point that I don’t care anymore; I just want to be home. I am still trying to figure out what home means to me.
Is it my mom’s house?
Is it my dad’s house?
Is it my grandparent’s house?
Is it my favorite coffee shop?
Or is it the
19 25 chickens that strut around in my yard?
I am almost done with my test. I think I have done well, but yet again, I don’t care. The test is over and I am on the long drive to the airport. I sleep most of the way there, dreaming about what home is.
I am at the airport. I am embarrassed when I have to stop and ask for directions. I was a little late to get to the airport so now I am rushing to get through security. I am sweating and I am afraid that I am going to miss my flight. What will I do if that happens? How will I get home? Home… what does that mean for me?
I finally made it to my gate, ten minutes before we board. I am relieved. I am so close to going home and yet, it feels so far away. I sit in my seat. I put in my head phones and watch a movie during my two and a half hour flight.
I come back to reality by the sound of the flight attendant’s voice. “Can I take your trash?” “Yeah, thanks.” “We will be landing shortly.” That statement made me eager to get off the plane. We finally land. I have all my stuff together; I am just ready to get off of this plane. I feels like we taxied forever. It took so long. My knowledge that my family was waiting for me down the corridor, on the other side of the doors made me excited.
We finally arrived at our gate, the seat belt sign is taken off. I jump up so quickly that I hit my head on the overhead compartment. I step into the middle isle as soon as possible. Finally I am off the plane, my heart starts racing. I am practically running through the terminal. I round the corner and I can see my family through the glass door, my heart starts skipping beats because it is racing so quickly. I walk through those glass doors and my heart warms.
I drop all my bags as my two youngest brothers leap into my arms yelling, “You’re finally home!” I am crying now. My little sister gives me a huge hug, “I’m glad your home,” She says. My grandparents are there too, they both hug me and say that they are glad to see me.
My dad gives me a huge hug and a kiss, “I am happy you are home mija.”
I finally get to my mom. She has tears streaming down her face. She gives me a hug, a hugs she has been wanting to give me since I left, lots of hugs all put into one. “I have missed you” she whispers into my ear. I feel my body relax in her arms; I feel all the stress from school fall away. “Welcome home,” she says to me.
I am home.
I now realize what home is: It is the love of the people that I love, the love that has supported me through everything. It is the love of my family.
P.S. I get to wrap my arms around my baby girl tomorrow night, God willing. Love, Moma