Our home will never be the same, now that Austin is gone. There is an emptiness, a sadness that lingers. I've rearranged furniture, purchased new items, thrown out some things but something is always missing. I thought changing things would make coming home easier, because it would be different; however, it wouldn't matter where we lived, Austin would still not be there.
I miss the way my home used to be. I'm homesick for that warm, familiar feeling you get when you walk through the door. No matter how long you've been gone, a home is meant to welcome and comfort you when you come back. I miss being greeted at the driveway with my smiling boy, towering over me and eager to help.
I miss walking over shoes, two times the size of mine, to get through the doorway because he'd tossed them off as soon as he walked in the house. I miss fussing over whatever mess had been left behind from their whirlwind trip down the hall as they came home from school. And I miss picking up that mess of empty coke cans, snack wrappers, homework papers and backpacks as I grumbled under my breath.
I miss hearing about the excitement of the day, complaints about the bus ride home, and even the tattling of whatever Noah did that afternoon. I miss his laugh as he retold me a funny story that happened in class or a joke he heard. I miss seeing his eyes roll or his eyes light up as he realized whatever I was making for dinner.
I long most for that hello hug I would receive as soon as I arrived home. He was sometimes so excited to see me, reminding me of an eager puppy when the family comes home. His face would light up and he'd be at the door watching me pull in, usually talking to me on the phone at the same time. There was rarely ever a day that he didn't open my door for me and reach in to hug me, with one long arm circling my neck. Then, later when I was in the house and settled, he would often again hug my neck or place his hand on my back and softly say, "Love You". When I pull into the driveway now, nobody is there to welcome me. Instead, I go inside and wait for a bus to arrive and drop off my other son, who I know is faced with the same saddening reality.
I am so homesick for the old, familiar comfort that used to be our home. I know it will never be that way again so now I'm homesick for where Austin is, where my final home will be. As a mother, I'm torn at two doorsteps, wanting so much to be with both of my children. I know Austin is in the safest, most beautiful and peaceful home a parent could want for their child. It just hurts that he is no longer with us. I'm homesick for the every day memories we shared.