Last weekend my husband moved his 84 year-old mother from the place where he grew up across the state to be closer to family. She's a strong woman who raised seven kids, but her health has been declining for the past several years. All of her kids have relocated across Texas and New Mexico, and it's time for her to be closer to people who can help her more. The move was not easy...not for her and not for my husband. They spent the weekend packing up things and memories, visiting friends and places, and saying goodbye. Then they just left a whole lifetime in the rear-view mirror.
We all have a place we call home, and sometimes it's not even where we live right now. My husband and I have been in Austin for 13 years, yet we still call a patch of dirt out west home. For people like us, 'home' is where we grew up. It's where we took our first steps, had our first day of school. It's where we skinned our knees when we fell off our bicycles when we took the training wheels off. It's the backroads where we learned to drive, the high school football team, and first kisses. It's where family and friends married and had children, and it's where loved ones are buried. There is a connection we have to the place that will always make it home.
My parents moved away from this patch of dirt about 10 years ago. My mother-in-law was the only family I had left there. My husband doesn't have any family there now either. Even so, it will always be considered home because it left such an imprint on who we are now.