A Friends and Family Post
sometimes you’ll feel lost
or that you don’t know
where you are going.
be thankful for that.
because that means
you still know what
home feels like, and if
you know what that feels
like, you are never truly lost
When I left Boise last summer, I tried to explain to my friends and family that it was no longer my home. I did a poor job of that because I was struggling with the definition of what home meant. I just knew what it felt like, and that it was gone. Some of the last words they heard from me before my departure were I’d never come back there to live; that Boise wasn’t home without Dan.
When I landed in Europe, I explained that I was searching for a place that felt like home. A place I might put down roots. I often referred to myself as homeless. Not because I no longer had a house to call home, but because I was adrift in the big ocean. I no longer had a point of reference on my life’s compass. I hated the idea of my journey ending and returning to the US, so refused to think about it. Being on the road made me a vagabond adventurer. A wanderer. Not someone homeless in her own house.
When I spoke with other wandering widows, we lamented that home wasn’t a house or a country, it was him. Home was the feeling we had with our husbands. Warm. Safe. Happy. Known. Without him, we were floating along without an anchor. We were lost and trying to find our way. We had everywhere to go, and no home to return to.
And then the day came where I had to book my return ticket back to the US. I was surprised that the feeling of dread had been replaced. As I wistfully began to wrap up my adventure plans, there was a spark of excitement tinged with something else. Something familiar. Homecoming. I wondered what that meant. Did it mean I was coming home to stay? Was Boise home? Was I just travel weary? When I really thought about it, none of those felt like the truth.
We like to say that Home is Where the Heart Is. If that’s correct, when your heart shatters into a million pieces, you no longer have a home. When my heart broke, everything I knew vanished. I became adrift. Lost. Homeless. Since Dan died, I’ve painstakingly worked to put those pieces of my life back together. On this journey I’ve learned a lot about myself, life, and this planet we share. I’ve realized that Home IS Where the Heart Is, but Dan’s presence never controlled that. No, it was always within me. Home is where MY once-shattered-now-pieced-back-together-work-in-progress heart is, which means I’m already there. Anywhere. Everywhere. Home Sweet Home.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
She had peace and felt at home. No longer
alone. No longer waiting for someone to
come to her rescue.
New Soul Poetry
To Friends and Family of W’s:
When you see your W is lost and struggling to figure things out, you have to let her find her way back on her terms and timeline. But please don’t disappear. Never underestimate the value of your presence and consistency. It is appreciated, even if that isn’t always apparent.
And now a few words of gratitude:
As much as it pained her to let me go, my only constant on this journey, my shiny beacon on the horizon, has been a weekly Facetime call with my best friend. Messaging just isn’t good enough. She wants to see my face and hear my voice and determine for herself how I’m doing. On the dark days when I’m feeling alone and adrift, I know that call will be coming through if I don’t call her first. I love you, Cheryl. Thank you for always being a brilliant light in my life. When I got lost and couldn’t let anyone help me, you just burned your light brighter so I could find my way home.
I need to thank Team Lisa, my inner circle of friends and family, for always being there. You’ve had a front-row seat for the good, the bad, and the ugly and are still here. Whether you’ve been in my life forever, or are one of the beautiful souls who found me along the way, you are amazing. I love you guys.
And last but not least, to my incredible kid sisters Amy, Mandy and Ginger. I couldn’t do this without you. Somewhere along the way we traded places and I became the little sister. Your advice, commiseration, humor, check-ins, pep talks and taking care of life’s details back home while I go in search of adventure, are a gift I can never repay. The words haven’t been written yet to properly define how grateful I am for you. I love you.