I miss the way my home used to be. I’m homesick for that warm, familiar feeling you get when you walk through the door. No matter how long you’ve been gone, a home is meant to welcome and comfort you when you come back. I miss being greeted at the driveway with my smiling boy, towering over me and eager to help.
Our home will never be the same, now that Austin is gone. There is an emptiness, a sadness that lingers. I’ve rearranged furniture, purchased new items, thrown out odds and ends, but something is always missing. I thought changing things would make coming home easier, because it would be different; however, it wouldn’t matter where we lived, Austin would still not be there.
We still live in the same home but so many things have changed. Cosmetic and physical. The living room has transformed the most. Gone are the old green carpets and lumpy couches. Now the room is covered in shades of tan and brown. It’s cozy but I miss the rough and tumble days of the boys fighting, wrestling in the floor, and jumping over furniture. We went from four to three to four. Our niece has been with us for the past four years. But her season with us is coming to a close. It’ll be strange being a “party of 3” again.
I miss walking over shoes, two times the size of mine, to get through the doorway because he’d tossed them off as soon as he walked in the house. I miss fussing over whatever mess had been left behind from their whirlwind trip down the hall as they came home from school. And I miss picking up the cluttter of empty coke cans, snack wrappers, homework papers and backpacks as I grumbled under my breath.
I miss hearing about the excitement of the day, complaints about the bus ride home, and even the tattling of whatever Noah did that afternoon. I miss his laugh as he retold me a funny story that happened in class or a joke he heard. I miss seeing his eyes roll or his eyes light up as he realized whatever I was making for dinner.
Austin’s baby brother has surpassed him, in size and age. Noah outlived his big brother last year when he became a freshman. He’s taller, larger, and louder but both my boys share a big heart. I’m still tripping over shoes twice as big as mine. Noah’s in the highest size most stores carry. I have to pull more information out of Noah; he’s an onion like his momma, yet I enjoy our chats. And he followed in his brother’s footsteps with a love for food, settling on a culinary path for high school. My heartstrings are often pulled when I think of the connection they had and wonder how it’d be today. I miss the bond they shared.
I am so homesick for the old, familiar comfort that used to be our home. I know it will never be that way again so now I’m homesick for where Austin is, where my final home will be. As a mother, I’m torn at two doorsteps, wanting so much to be with both of my children. I know Austin is in the safest, most beautiful and peaceful home a parent could want for their child. It just hurts that he is no longer with us. I’m homesick for the every day life we shared.
Home is comfortable again. The void will ever be present but not as sharp and painful. Though we miss Austin, we feel him in so many ways. Little glimpses of Heaven that God sometimes sends us, just because, or on extra difficult days. I’m no longer torn in both worlds, but I yearn for the day we’re reunited. While here, I’m filled with hope and purpose. I appreciate the every day more. There’s beauty in even the simplest things. I can now find some good that came from the nightmare of child loss. Lives touched by Austin’s legacy. Stronger relationships. Souls saved. And most days that overcomes the darkness. Austin’s love gives us fuel to await life here but to live it on mission.
We’re homesick for what we will know will be.