“Welcome home!” said the man in Boston as I handed him my passport as I came into the United States. It was a way of recognizing that I had crossed a border.
“Welcome home!” said the man in Toronto as I handed him my passport as I came into Canada. It was a way of recognizing that I had crossed a border.
There is something wonderful about those tangible recognitions of border crossings. I have loved seeing posts by friends whose children are celebrating transitions—graduating from preschool, high school, college, grad school. We hand them a piece of paper and congratulations on the transition they are making.
But what about the others?
I have been in South Carolina this past week with my siblings working to help our mother transition out of her second home. We moved her from Cherryville, NC where she had lived for over 55 years several years ago. Now her health is bringing about another transition. She is moving in with my sister, giving up the little house where she loved/hated living. Her car is going to my brother. Her independence is disappearing with her memory and ability to walk unassisted. It is hard on her!
And it is hard on me.
I knew there would be enormous grief when she moved away from “my house,” the one I grew up in, the one where I had learned to ride a bike, the one that was always there as “home.” But this one? I wasn’t expecting that the other morning as my sister drove me away from the house on Little River Road. Maybe it was the recognition that mom wasn’t the only one losing something. We all are. Our mother who has always been such a force in our lives (for better or worse) is now dependent on us to make decisions. It is a new world for us all.
I think you should have to present a passport just to let you know that this is a different world from the one you were in. And maybe a “Welcome home” might be nice to alert us to the new normal.