I am so homesick for WA. That seems odd – that it would hit now rather than 5 ½ months ago when I actually left my WA life. But maybe not. The entire time we stayed at my parent's home we weren't thinking, “This is our new life,” we were searching and waiting for where our new life would begin. I think that until that new life started, I didn't really realize I'd left my old one behind. Now that we are in our new home, our new ward, our kid's new school, and our new neighborhood, I suddenly keep thinking of WA where I once had all those things so happily established.
My new home is fancier and bigger, but as I unpack and try to decide where things should go, I keep remembering their place in my last home. I miss my plain but clean and open little home. I miss the yard we had finally finished with its garden boxes and hole left in the fence so Abe's two backyard neighbor pals could come through. I miss the familiarity I had with my neighbors – the pausing to discuss simple goings on with them, the calls to borrow ingredients, etc. I miss my friends and having people close by who I was comfortable calling when I needed someone to watch a kid or two while I ran an errand or went to an appointment, and I miss their kids – my kid's friends. I miss my ward – the people I served with in my calling, the beautiful and fun Young Women who I got to know so well through countless meetings, activities and Sundays. I miss the familiar faces and the distinct personalities that were the backdrop of my daily life. I miss the roads I ran on and even feel a little pain in my stomach when I think of the familiar roads I drove and places I went. I miss my kid's school and the way they did certain things. I miss the parks and farm lands that were all around us. I miss the book group I went to that was made up of women who, for the most part, were old enough to be my mothers or even grandmothers but who were ready laughers and who truly enjoyed having me there. I miss planning vacations to the ocean.
Last weekend, I had just left a luncheon honoring my mother for a reward she'd received, when I got a message on my cell phone. Our backyard neighbors from WA were here on business and thought they might have just driven by our very house. These were the neighbors whose boys we left the hole in the fence for and whose daughters often babysat my kids. When I called them back, indeed, they had driven by our house (crazy, I'd only told them the city we were in – by total chance they had driven by and recognized our cars) and were now inside talking to Mike! I drove home hardly able to contain my excitement. I tensed up at every red light and had to watch my speed very consciously to avoid flying 100 mph. I was just so so desperate to actually have a few minutes with a little piece of my left behind life.
I know, I know, there is adventure ahead, and I am excited about it (though I worry a little that it was the fact that I had no family up there that forced me a little more quickly to establish those relationships I am craving. I also worry that I am more limited in who I will meet here based on ward boundaries. When our ward took in our whole city and its surrounding areas, there were a lot of people I got to know who I would have never met had the ward cut them out a mile away from me). Still, even with adventure to come, there is just a definite sadness and maybe an almost poetic loneliness about something ending that you can never have back. It is somewhat like your little ones growing up – new stages are exciting, but you can't ever switch them back to the tiny infant or the just learning to talk toddler. Once it is gone, it is gone. I can't ever live in that house again, chat as casually with the same people again, even drive the round-about or the back roads to our church. Even if I visited, it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't be my world anymore. And it is strange to me to think of those people and places still going on normally with out me as a part of them. That life is still there, but it is gone for me, and I feel very lonely for it as I embark on what will become my new life and my new comfortable.