I've always considered Michigan as home, it is where I was raised, it contains most of my memories, and where I have lived the longest. However, we recently made a trip to Connecticut unexpectedly, and I felt like we were going home.
Home is where family is, and when Ben's beloved grandmother, Grand Memere, passed away unexpectedly, we knew we had to go home. When we arrived at Ben's mom's house, the feeling of comfort was instant, the roads have become familiar and that feeling of I'm home crept up on me like I didn't expect. Seeing the end of the road and pulling in knowing there were arms there to hug us and love us was wonderful. Sitting at Joyce's table talking into the night, I felt at home. Putting the kids to bed in her house felt like home. Knowing the kids would wake up in the morning and go find Memere downstairs without even waking me made me feel I was home. Sitting on the love seat in the tv room with all three of my kiddos crowded around me so that we barely fit, felt perfectly right and homey.
Going to Pepere's house was like going home too. Without Grand Memere there to greet us with open arms made it difficult, but her presence was everywhere and within everyone. Sitting in the living room with the fire toasty warm, the chairs filled with family and people overflowing to the floor, how could it not be home.
Sitting at Ben's sisters, Kara, lounging on the couch with the kids playing all around us, watching cartoons that make no sense, that too was home.
Grand Memere passing on to heaven was and is difficult to understand and explain, but through this experience I learned that home is where family is and where we belong. Whether it is with Ben's large extended family, or my family in Michigan, or here in Montana with just the five soon to be six of us, home is what you make it.
I also know the greatest home is where Grand Memere is waiting...She walked through heaven's gates last Sunday and reunited with all those that had gone before her. I'm sure she had a big hug and kiss for Ben's dad, and there are many others up there that she is dancing with. She is in the arms of Jesus, what greater home could there be. We will miss her here with us, but she is in each and every person who has ever been graced to know her. She will always live in our hearts and she will live on to our children through stories. Every time I drink a cup of tea or I see a chicken I will think of her. She had the greatest hugs and the mushiest kisses. She was love, she shared love, and she exemplified the role of a wife and mother. Pepere and Memere's marriage was one to be emulated and if Ben and I can live up to the standards they have set we will go far in life, but they set the bar high so it will take constant effort to love unconditionally as those two loved eachother. I know Memere's soul is resting in peace, and I pray for all those who are grieving her loss, that God may be able to fill them also with peace and know that someday they will be reunited with the beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend.