This time of year always makes me nostalgic. *sigh* Thanksgiving and Christmas. If they didn't fall so close together it would sure be easier. But my family in the states have all been together in these last few days and will get together again soon in just four more weeks. Usually NOTHING makes me wish I were back in America. Well, maybe every once in a while visions of a juicy steak at Cagle's Steak house have me hankering for a trip home. Or the idea of walking into Target, Walmart, Gap, Old Navy, or any of those kind of places and being able to find clothes that really fit me (i.e. pant legs are long enough and sleeves are long enough) at such amazing prices, have me forgetting what it would be like to travel on three planes for over 24 hours with two little ones. Or when I think about hugging my Momma's neck, or playing with my sweet nephews and letting my brother cook something good for me, or... well you get the picture, only every once in a while for a minute or two I think, "Oh that would be nice right about now." But the holidays sometimes get to me.
Especially this year. Much of our "family" here in Japan are gone. Two missionary couples who were serving in our church are no longer here as of this year or last. And of course missionary families from years past have been gone for a while. It seems our little group gets smaller and smaller all the time. Then this week both the kiddos had the H1N1 flu. We were scheduled to get together with a couple of international couples on Monday, which is a Japanese holiday, but for some reason they didn't want to come over to our house... imagine that!? ;) just kiddin', I don't blame 'em.
So I got no turkey this week. Didn't get anything remotely resembling dressing or mashed potatoes. There weren't no pie 'round these parts this week.(can you tell how nostalgic I'm getting, I'm even starting to sound like all the folks back home)
But don't think this is some sob story for this little missionary, who is sacrificing so much to serve God in Japan. NOPE! I'm not sacrificing anything. I have mountains of blessings right at my feet. (And the fact that I didn't get anything Thanksgiving-like this week is my own fault, I was too lazy to make it even for our own little clan).
It just makes me nostalgic. I rarely get this way. I don't usually get a hankerin' for home, so I just thought I would record my sentimental mood while it lasts.
I guess another thing that brought it on was a sweet conversation I had with my sweet little daughter this week. Every once in a while, in conversation, it comes up that "Bam" (her grandpa, my mom's husband, my second Dad - I don't know a better way to describe who he is since I hate the words step Dad and "new" Dad sounds so morbid, he is worthy of a name that evokes more "love" in it when you read the words so until someone comes up with a better term I guess second Dad it is, anyways I digress) was not the Daddy that I grew up with. A man that, this is so strange to me, she doesn't even know, was my Daddy when I was a "yiyle giwl" (as Hana would say). On the way home in the car the other day I said something my Dad always used to say and Rocky and I got to talking about how funny he was. That started Hana to asking questions.
"Mommy, Bam wasn't your Daddy when you was yiyle giwl?"
No sweety, Grandpa Marlow was, but he died.
"Mommy, why did he die?"
Well, he had a bad disease, one that we couldn't make better, so he died.
"How was he sick?"
Well, he had a disease that made him get sicker and sicker all the time.
"Did he have a wheel chair? Could he talk? etc."
"Did you cry a whole lot Mommy?"
Yes, sweety, I did cry, a whole bunch.
"Were you sad and cried in your bed at night?"
Yes, I did that many times when he was sick and after he died too, I miss him a lot.
"Did you cry with Gaga's?" (Gaga's is my Mom)
Yes, we both cried.
And her questions go on and on.
The other night as we had this conversation the last bit on the drive home, and as we pulled up in front of the house she unbuckled her seat belt and leaned into the front seat area and asked for a kiss as I was waiting for the garage door to go up. She kept her face close to mine and said, "I'm sorry you were so sad Mommy. I'm sorry your Daddy died."
What a sweet heart.
So all at the same time, that conversation made me homesick and nostalgic but yet, so thankful for the family that God has given me today. So thankful that He called me to this country where I would meet Rocky and marry him and these two precious babies would become my children. Sometimes a woman's heart is more complicated than words. Two totally opposite emotions running rampant in my heart these past few days. Joy and sadness, enthusiasm for where I am and nostalgia for the past, resentment for the distance between here and there and thankfulness and contentment in the family I have here. No wonder we women are so hard for our menfolk to figure out most of the time ;o)
So even though Thanksgiving day rolled by hardly unnoticed for me this year, tonight I am so thankful to be the daughter of three Daddies (my Heavenly Father, my father in heaven, and my earthy father), the daughter of one amazing Mommy, the Mommy to two amazing and precious children, and the wife to one awesome and loving man of God! Every part of my life is something I never dreamed it would be. In ever way it is better than I ever could have dreamed it would be. Minus turkey with all the fixin's...