Yearnings & Gratitude

I get homesick. A lot. I miss my family, both those in Missouri and those in Utah. I miss family get togethers. I miss lunches with my sister and hanging out with my granddaughters. I miss going to the grandkids’ birthday parties and showing up at the door with cake and ice cream for their birthday breakfasts. I miss hanging out with my younger daughter and son-in-law. I miss going to the kids’ games and performances. I feel like I’m missing everything!

I miss I miss the mountains. I miss the smells of home. Rain doesn’t smell like rain here in Florida. We never get that crisp ozone smell here, and rain doesn’t cool things down, either. In fact, when rain’s coming, it just gets hotter and more humid, and after the rain falls, the humidity not only beats down on you from above, it rushes up at you from the ground.

I miss the seasons, although I don’t really miss snow and I definitely don’t miss ice. I miss the view from the mountains, looking down into the valley. I miss familiar restaurants and meetings with my writing group. I miss those yearly weekends with my long-time critique group and choices. Oh! how I miss choices. Choices where I live right now are really limited. I miss the variety of things and places I had when I lived along the Wasatch Front.

The desire of my heart is to move to be closer to family. My number-one choice would be to move to be near the kids and grandkids–not because of where they live, though. Everything I listed above–except the kids, the grandkids, and the seasons–would still be missing if I moved to be close to them. They have hills, but not mountains, and the rest of my family would still be forever away. I could drive back to Utah more easily than I can now, but flying out would be harder. I’d be close to my daughter and I’d be able to attend the kids’ games and performances. I’d be a daily (almost) part of their lives again, and my heart yearns for that, but I’d still be forever away from my 90-year-old mother, from my sister and brother-in-law, my brother, and all my nieces and nephews.

But there would be no choices. Choices in their small town are even more limited than they are where I live now. It’s rural. Very rural. Like rural. I like the idea of rural in theory, but I’m not 100% sure I’d be completely happy with it in reality.

I spent three weeks there in October and managed all right, but that was always temporary. I always knew I was leaving again. But if I stay here, I miss everybody.

If I move to Utah, I get part of my family and remain separated from the other part. Ditto for moving to Missouri.

Sometimes I think it’s not fair that some people get to have it all–because doesn’t it always seem that other people have everything?–and I get nothing. Whether I move or stay in Florida, I’ll be forced to choose which part of my life I don’t get. And the bottom line is, there’s no choice to be made right now. I’m here for now, and I don’t see a move in the foreseeable future.

It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong, what’s not fair, what I think should be different. It’s not nearly so easy to face hard days with a attitude of gratitude, but I’m much happier when I can do that. So now that I’ve acknowledged the yearnings of my heart, let me also say that I’m grateful I have family that I love enough to miss them and wish I could live closer.

I’m grateful that my daughter and son-in-law are willing to let the grandkids come for a visit this summer, which should help my poor, old, achy heart a bit. I’m grateful that my grandkids love me enough to want to come and stay for a while.

And yeah, it’s beautiful here. So I’m not fond of the weather in the summer. A friend once said that the only people who don’t hate Florida in the summer are people who don’t live in Florida in the summer, so I guess I’m not alone. And just when my heart gets so heavy I think it’s going to break, the Lord provides me with relief. Every. Single. Time.

When the kids and grandkids were in Texas, I was able to visit a few times We “sneaked” back from Texas to surprise my oldest daughter for her birthday one year, which made everyone happy.

Last year, it was a trip home to Utah and time spent with my family there, and a three-week stay in Missouri, taking care of the grandkids while my son-in-law worked and my daughter went back to Texas to help with a friend’s wedding.

This year, it’s the promise of a month with the grandkids here in Florida, and the chance to see my daughter and son-in-law on either end of that visit, however briefly.

I’m grateful, and I try hard to stay focused on the good.

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