Monday, July 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

There's nothing like a good American holiday or a family event to really make you miss home.  As you all know Sunday was July 4th, the day we Americans celebrate our Nation's independence.  This was my 4th 4th in a row off of US soil (sorry if that's confusing) and with each passing year away I realize how blessed I am to be an American.  Say what you want about the current condition of our country, it's still the best darn place on Earth.

We had a great group of friends over on Sunday - a mix of old and new friends, a fact of military life as people are always on the move.  I looked around and thought about each family represented, each person at my home missing someone somewhere else - and being missed in return.  Military life sure has its' perks, but one of the obvious downsides is being away from extended family.

I started thinking of all the places I've spent the 4th of July, all of the fun I've had, but mostly it makes me sad to be away.  You see, the 4th of July is also the birthday of someone very special, someone I love very much - my Nana - Norice Osteen.  As a child I would soooo look forward to family gatherings to celebrate her birthday, wondering what crazy red-white-and-blue outfit she would have purchased to wear.  She would put on lots of red lipstick and kiss everybody leaving her mark behind.  I miss her terribly, especially on her birthday.  I was able to talk to her on the phone yesterday so that was a blessing, but she sounds old and frail, she almost cries when she tells me how much she loves me and my boys and how much she misses us.  I pray I'll make it home to spend some quality time with her - hang on Nana, I'm coming!

The boys were asleep when I called home last night so this morning I told them about talking to Ya-Ya and Nana and Uncle Ron- and Lewis said "Mom, when we move home to the States, I can't wait to live next to Ya-Ya and Oma and see them everyday."  Poor kid, he doesn't quite understand how seeing both of his grandmas everyday would be impossible- one lives in TN and the other in WA - not exactly neighbors.  Which got me to thinking (yes, this 4th caused a LOT of thinking)  Where is home?  Home sweet Home.  Geographically speaking I just don't know the answer to that question.  We own a house in MD, but that's not home.  We have family in TN and WA and while it's certainly our home States of record, they're not home for this family of four.  I've seen plaques in Navy family houses that say "Home is where the Navy sends us", so-

1.  Annapolis, MD
2.  Bremerton, WA
3.  San Diego, CA
4.  Yigo, GU (Guam)
5.  Lexington Park, MD
6.  Boeblingen, Germany
7.  Naples, Italy
8.  Bahrain?

But none of these feel like a permanent home, all temporary in our adventure.  Where will we land?  Where will we settle down?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what God has in store for our future.  For now we'll have to say "Home is where the heart is" -  I never understood this saying fully until now, or at least this is my understanding of the phrase.

The human heart has the ability to be everywhere, loving lots of people in many different places.  With each "home" city, each group of friends, each family member- the heart is there.  Home can be anywhere you love and feel loved.  Because let's be honest, no home here on Earth compares to our heavenly home, it's all temporary and imperfect leaving us with a longing for more.  But the more we live and the more we love the more we feel at home here.
We leave a little piece of our heart with the people and places we love - Home is where the heart is.
Home Sweet Home.

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