Home Is Where The Heart
It was my 51st birthday and there was almost reason for me to sing the birthday blues.Being recent empty nesters my husband, Bill, and I were doing our best adjusting to the too quiet house we now found ourselves living in. This was a day I counted on all of us being together.
The plan, for my special day, was to meet our daughters, Jaime and Katie at a fancy restaurant. Our youngest, Katie, who had flown the coop a few months earlier ,called to say she may not be able to attend the celebration dinner. She had worked earlier that day and, with the long ride ahead of her, thought it best if she just headed home. Somehow her comment, 'Maybe we can get together sometime next week', just didn't cut it. After all, this was my baby. How could she move so far away from me in the first place? Living all the way on the other side of Chicago, she may as well have moved to another state as far as I was concerned. Another sobering reality I had to face was why she didn't feel the need to call me everyday. It made me doubt my abilities as a mother.
I felt tears about to fall as I repeated what she had just said to me. Maybe she sensed the disappointment in my voice because, on second thought, she changed her mind."But", she warned, "I didn't have time to wrap your gift."
We arrived at the restaurant with Katie already waiting for our party of five to show up.While we waited for Jaime and her husband, Dan, to show up, Bill and I enjoyed laughing, chatting and catching up on what's new in our little girl's grown up life.
After dinner, true to her word, Katie handed me a shopping bag from the Hallmark store.I immediately noticed the tell tale sign of a Precious Moments box. As I began to open it she explained it was a memory gift. My curio cabinet is overflowing with these Precious Moments momentos.
One Christmas, many years ago, my daughters gifted me with the figurine of a mom holding a plate filled with cookies. It signified the year the baking bug bit me and I baked from Thanksgiving until New Year's.
I also cherish the figurine of a smiling woman holding a puppy. That was bought for me the Christmas Eve Jaime surprised me with a Golden Retriever puppy that she purchased while away at college. And, now, here was another priceless treasure to add to my collection.
As I opened it tears spilled down my face for the second time that day, but this time they were tears of joy and understanding.
This time the Precious Moments was of a mommy sitting in a rocking chair, cuddling a baby in her arms. The all important caption read: Love Never Leaves A Mother's Arms. I got the message loud and clear.
My daughter still loves me even though she lives miles and miles away from me, and calls much less than I'd like.
Our nest may now be empty but, through the years, we have feathered it with the soft and secure safety net of memories.
My fully filled curio cabinet is a milestone of loving meaning that tells this empty nester mom that - home will always be where the heart is - for no matter where our children may go love never leaves a mother's arms.