22 December, 2012


"Hi Marky, it's Mom. Just calling to tell you that I hung the ornament you made, on the tree today. Remember that? I love you and miss you so much. Please honey, come home soon." I knew my mom well enough to recognize that her voice, so warm and soothing, was holding back a sob. She was trying hard to sound strong and courageous. I thought of my mother and of the loving home that she created for me, all these years. Gosh, I lost count of how many times I must have broken her heart, including tonight.

"I'm dreaming tonight of a place I love
Even more then I usually do
And although I know,
it's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas."-from the song, I'll Be Home for Christmas, written by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent and Buck
Like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz movie, I wanted to click my heels together and say, "there's no place like home" and find myself walking the long gravel driveway that led back to the farmhouse with red shutters, a warm and inviting glow radiating from all the windows. Home...my home. My heart fluttered. How I missed home. I imagined opening the front door, to fall into the waiting arms of my loving mother. Nothing could define home more concisely than my mother.

When I left home, I was determined to become my own person and do all the things I wanted to do, when I wanted to do them and never apologize.


Life,  for me, was meant to be lived on the edge, played hard and loud...like rock music. And yes, I had done exactly that...except that I hadn't bargained on living a life that was less than full, a life that paled in comparison to the quality of life I lived when, yup, you guessed it...when I was home. I was tired, ready for a change and now, listening to my mother's voice...well, I was not so proud of my so-called independent life. And yet, I knew that no matter what I did, what I said or how ugly I got, I knew that my mother would still love me. My mother still believed in me, even when I wasn't worthy of her trust. I craved forgiveness and I was struggling with the whole concept of redemption...and God. "Maybe, that's how I need to think of God...like I think of my mother, a person whose love knows no limits, always there for me. That's how God must love me too, maybe...even more."
"God calls us to come home for Christmas. God calls us to come back from all those places where we have settled for less...God calls us back from all the ambitions and possessions we have pursued, thinking they would satisfy us...Preparing for Christmas means looking deep within ourselves and asking if our hearts are truly at home in the lives we are living. "-Mary Lou Redding, from her book, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent
I really needed to do something, maybe I needed to accept this gift of love that I had been given...and so, I picked up the receiver and dialed.
One...two...three rings...no answer...
...just when I was ready to hang up...


I was quiet for a second, thinking of all I wanted to tell her and couldn't. I was afraid.



Is someone there?


Marky? Is this you?


Please, Marky, say something...anything."she pleaded.

"Hello...Mom...uh, yes...it's me, I mean, it's Marky." I paused and said, "Mom...uh..I'm sorry...for everything. I've been so wrong about so many things...and..about Christmas, well, can I come home?" as I finally started to tear down the walls of anger and bitterness, that kept me separated from the people and the place I knew as...


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