Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Be always coming home.

Patrick was 17 when Katie was born.

Life is too short and so are visits....
and so I let Katie stay home from school to hang out with her
big brother and me.

I just don't think there is anything in the world
that can beat time with loved ones.

It's fun, it's soul filling, it's how we have influence and how we are impacted.

Quality time.  Yes that's my love language.
Quality time makes me feel the most loved and and this is how I show it love.

It is getting harder as the family has spread out.  Those long car rides are getting harder on me and the pocketbook does not have enough coin for plane tickets.

But I long to be near them.  All of them.
The pull is strong.  I feel it in my chest.

So today I feel especially thankful that Patrick came to visit.  Thankful that he and Katie are getting to know one another a little bit more.  Katie who at three months went on college visits with Patrick.  

I would have loved that Katie came earlier and she would have had her siblings home with her longer.
But there is no doubt that she is a huge blessing to me.
Keeping her momma company as we wave so long to the big kids.

Katie and me.
We wave together.  We miss together.
We treasure every visit.

"Have fun storming the castle!"

Be always coming home.


  1. So sweet. I have only two, twenty months apart. When they fly, my nest will be empty indeed. That's Katie is a blessing, to be sure.

  2. Last night everyone was asleep but Brennan and me...and he quietly said, "Goodnight, Mommy." Mommy. I confess: it made me cry just a little. He's so big, he's got such big plans, and he is such a joy. I am really grateful for my grand finale (not a big age gap here, but grateful nonetheless.)

    I will forever and always think of you when I read "be always coming home."

    And today I will work on gratitude, because I long to hop on a plane to be with loved ones, and it is so doggone expensive. But I will work on embracing my limitations.

    So glad Katie stayed home.


    1. *embrace* is a wonderful word. Bless you, Di.

  3. Oh Donna! I'm reading with tears today! This post hits home with me, as you and I have something in common---same love language and similar "home set up." The littles and I cry nearly every time we wave good-bye to Nick!

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  5. Donna, what a wise choice to keep Katie home to spend time with her brother.

    Goodbye's are always tough when folks live so far away. I understand this fully.

    They say an expat is most happy sitting on an airplane, because they are on their way somewhere - either to see friends and family back home - or on their way home, where home is now (where ever that may be). I can say that "they" are absolutely right.

    I am grateful to have the ability to fly to see my loved ones. Even when visits are brief; they seem to be all the more sweet because of it.

    BTW, this is a lovely photo of your kiddos.

    love, your Swiss Miss

  6. Family trumps school any day of the week : ). I am so glad you had a nice visit with your son. I love his smile. Your whole family makes me happy. I am thankful God gave them to you.

  7. This post makes me cry. I feel the same way about my kiddos. My older ones are gone~~CA, OH and PA. The younger ones are here, but spreading their wings. I love it when we are all together. Katie is very blessed to have you for a mom! Letting her stay home from school for special bonding time is priceless!

    1. Robin,
      If they are in No. California...come see them and ME (-:


  8. Anonymous11:07 AM

    *tears* I'm not good at goodbye's. But, I am SO happy that you all were able to spend time together. Family is everything. I can't imagine being so far away from each other. My heart goes out to you.

    Sarah P. from Iowa

  9. Anonymous12:40 PM

    What a beautiful post. I am so glad you let Katie stay home from school to be with her big brother. I love the way she is tucked under his arm in the photo. What a comforting place to be. It is not all bad being the youngest in the many others to love and protect you.

    Debbie Z.

  10. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Big brothers when they come home are the best presents. Glad Katie stayed home, school will always be there, visits with her brother are precious. Like others here, I have tears in my eyes. It is hard to have far away children even when they are grown-ups. We are blessed to have phones and computers to keep in touch. When my mom first moved away from home to live she and my grandmother kept in touch by mail only. I still love to get letters in the mail. My grandmother wrote to me all the time while I was growing up, even when I was in college. And, pictures...we tell our children in CO, send pictures. ;-)
    Thought of all the singers here today when I read this Thanksgiving Prayer from Melissa d'Arabian:
    "God, let our lives be songs to your ears.
    Thank you for incorporating us into your most excellent harmonies."
    love and prayers for you each one, jep

  11. My big brother was home this weekend, too, with his wife and darling kiddos. We aren't together enough to have enough of a routine to have a very good time - travel is so hard with littles - but I submit that if wedl the hard work now, the relationships will come down the road. I love my brother - I just don't know him anymore....

    1. Anonymous4:55 PM

      Our sons are like you and your brother...far apart geographically and have really different lives. Like a good marriage takes work, I think it takes work to be a close sibling. I am an only child, so really don't know how to help them. Praying God will bless you and your brother and our sons and all other siblings. jep

  12. So sweet that you have your Katie! I feel like we all have her, too! :-) My brother and his wife (who had the sweet baby boy last night!) have 2 older children, 15 and 13, so I know that this special surprise of a baby will be the same encouragement for them as Katie is for you as the older two leave the nest in the coming years.

  13. It's Quality Life at the blog today. Makes me all throat-lumpish.

    I'm leaving tomorrow to NC to see my girlfriends. It's the needed time. But. My husband came home late last night and looked and me and said, "I don't want you to go." Not in an authoritative dictum way, but in the I-miss-you-already way. It melted me.

    I can't imagine what heaven will be like. I know there won't be the ache of separation but surely we can't be present with all our loved ones at once...can we?

    On another note: as the youngest child whose oldest brother left for college by the time I was in elementary school, I LOVE the fact that Katie and Patrick got a chance to know each other better.

    Three years ago, my brother David and I drove to our uncle's funeral service. We had ten hours in the car to talk through our lives. And, wow, the things we learned. Because of that, we can now talk an hour away every other month without raising a sweat.

    I know I'm pushing the etiquette of blog comment length but here's a story that wants to be told: when I was in college, I brought a friend home with me from California. We drove to Wisconsin and she *met* her oldest sibling. Twenty four years and many miles had separated them. Can you imagine?? This was no step- or half-sibling.

    Thank you for your brilliant writing, Miz Boo.

  14. What a great excuse for skipping school.

    we were thrilled about the GAMe :) I was the only one predicting a Bears win at our house. I get two nights off dinner duty !

  15. Yay for skipping school to spend time with family! That'll get you an A+, Donna!

    Goodness this growing up and moving away stuff gets hard on us moms, eh? Mine are starting to spread a little bit too far from home these days and I daydream about just hopping on a plane to go get a hug.

    I do think it's a bit sad for the littlest one left takes a lot of work to get them connected with their older siblings. It does work well when the older siblings WANT to get to know the littlest one, but I also understand why it's difficult. I'm kind of looking forward to just me and her hanging out together when everyone is gone as I think we'll get along well :-)

    Tammy ~@~

  16. I read your post so many times yesterday, and my friends woke me so early this morning, that I have read it again! Katie is blessed. To have a mom so wise from having raised three thriving young adults, and yet soft for knowing how fast this time goes.
    I read through tears, as so many did. Thinking of how difficult it must be for my own mom, knowing how I miss Graham as he follows his dream in Colorado. This mom thing... it's not for sissies, is it? You are one of the best, Donna!!!! xoxo

    1. Anonymous6:53 AM

      ^Like Cheryl, I came here several times yesterday as this post really spoke to me. I'm a sentimental mess with it being Molly's last year of high school and I so envy you and others that still have years left with their beautiful young ones at home. I miss Jamey so even though he's only in Chicago, but since he had worked with me for almost 6 years, I was so, so spoiled when I used to see him most days. I pray that my two will stay close as they grow old, but since they are almost 9 years apart, you never know. I take heart from knowing that, even though my youngest sibs are 12 and 15 years younger than me, they are two of my best friends in the world. Also, "be always coming home" is so appropriate this week as my little sis, her two little girls, Molly and I are all have a sleepover at my mom's house this weekend. I know I've rambled on long enough, but this post opened so many parts of my heart!!!

      Mary Z

    2. Anonymous8:46 AM

      Oh Mary Z have a wonderful time with your loved ones this weekend. Praying God will bless you with hugs, meaningful dialogue, FUN and love, love, love! jep

  17. Oh, and aren't those later in life babies such a blessing? I know our lives would be missing so much without our Ethan.

    We're dealing with a loss in our family which makes me want to cling even harder, to draw them in. I know you understand that. We are trusting the Lord to see it through, though.


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