As I’m writing this, my family and I are on vacation in Northern Virginia where my husband’s parents live. It was an unexpected vacation, but a much needed one for our family. This year has been a trying one filled with new opportunities, unemployment, and stress coming from different areas. There’s no better way to get a break from it all than a trip to Grandma’s house.
Today is Sunday, and our two daughters are sick with stomach aches and fevers for the last two days. While my husband – Tim – our sons, and his parents are at church, I’m doing a little laundry, changing out the girls’ bed sheets, and thinking about life. Where we are in life. Where I am in life. My five year goal and the steps to get there. Just a lot of thinking.
As I’m thinking, I’m walking around my mother-in-law’s house looking at photos on the mantle, shelves, and walls. Reading all the Christian book titles lining the massive bookshelves in their formal living room. Guessing what the hell all these pieces of metal are on Grandpa’s workbench area. Seriously – what is all this stuff? Definitely looking with my eyes and not my hands in fear of touching the wrong thing and getting shocked by that probe looking thing-y.
And as I walk and think, I wonder – why do I like it here so much? Why am I always drawn to his parent’s house when seeking comfort and peace? What makes this place different than all the other places I’m welcomed?
Maybe it’s because of his parents. From the first moment I met his parents, I knew I loved them. They are kind, funny, and easy to talk to. They are strong in their love for God, and his mom has been one of my mentors while walking my spiritual path. Together, they raised their son to be the perfect mess that matches the perfect mess of me. Everything he is, is because of them, and for that, I love them. As of this week, they have been married for 41 years. Can you believe it? Forty-one years of being together and sharing the love that God has blessed on them. It’s amazing!
But even though I love his parents, I know that cannot be the reason of my natural feeling of ease when in their home of thirty years. I love my parents, and the peace I feel while being at my in-laws is different than the feelings I get while being at my mom’s house.
Then it dawns on me. It’s a piece of Tim, therefore, a piece of me. A piece that has been missing my whole life until I finally made my way here over twelve years ago.
This home is Tim’s childhood home. The place where he learned how to ride a bike, play the Nintendo, and did his homework. Within these walls, he experienced his first love, first heartbreak, and dreamed about his future. Every part of this house is filled with Tim and the love his family shared. This is why it comforts me.
Just like all married couples, Tim and I have our ups and downs. Sometimes I want to strangle the man because he drives me insane as I know I do to him on occasion. But he is my comfort at all times, no matter the reason, or cause of needing that comfort.
When it’s our time to leave next week, I will be sad to go. Like all good things that make you feel on cloud nine, you dread it being taken from you. All that you love and enjoy about it, should be loved and enjoyed while it lasts. Don’t think about not having it, but rather focus on it while you do have it. It will be here when we return during the holidays, and it will fill me again with comfort and peace. And at the same time, we will be filling it with our new memories and one day, just maybe it will be comfort and peace to my children.