Last night, after a long day of inservice, silly games and speaches about Bloom’s taxonomy, I ended up in my home town.
Where I was headed was just a few blocks from the house I grew up in.
I’m not sure if it was hearing Miranda Lambert’s new song too many times on the way up there, or hearing another friend read a piece about her hometown the night before at writer’s group….
But I turned into the old neighborhood.
Which looked familiar and so different all at the same time.

I once knew these streets like the back of my hand.
I had cruised them on bike and foot and eventually in my first car.
Past the bus stop.
Past old friend's houses.
Until I turned on my street.

My parents haven’t lived here in over a decade.
They moved out soon after I left for college.

I drove by slowly.
And it looked like my old home.
But not.

The same street number blazed on the curb.
It was the same doorstep that I had many good night kisses on.
The same two trees that I used to climb and hang upside down from.

But the flowerbeds I used to have to weed were gone.
There was a giant palm tree growing on the side of the house.
The shutters and front door were painted the wrong color.
And someone else’s trampoline was in the backyard.

I snapped a quick photo with my phone and kept driving.

A few minutes later, I hugged the person I came for.
And we cried hard heavy tears.
And tears of relief.
And tears for friendships that endure past highschool, and college, and marriage and babies and even funerals.
And we walked, arms linked up, to her daddy’s casket.
Because she wanted us to see him.
She said they had got him just right.

And he looked like him.
But not really.

An easy restful smile.
Pain and disease free.
Sporting his favorite Longhorn tie.
Sticking it to the roomful of Aggies one last time.

There was no twinkle in his eye.
No burnt orange cap.
No sitting in his favorite chair.
And he looked a little plastic, and lifeless. Like he was really somewhere else.
Because, I believe in fact, that he was.

And I didn’t stay long. Even though the drive had been lengthy.
And I certainly didn’t say any of the right words.
I showed up empty handed. No flowers or food.
But I hugged who I came for. And I think that was enough.

And as I drove north I had plenty of time to think.
And thought about these buildings and these bodies.
And how temporary it all is.

How we are all home.
But not.
Because our citizenship lies elsewhere.
But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. Philippians 3:20-21 (The Message)


mommaof3 said...

I am so glad you came.

Beth (and Eric) said...

Exactly. You are such a good friend. Giving yourself and crying with friends. I know what you mean about our Home and our old houses. Well said, of course!