And since December, I've been very much aware of the fact that I am homesick.
I've never been the type of person to get homesick. In fact, I'm one of those persons that has a hard time defining where home is. By the time I left Canada at the age of seventeen, I had lived in five cities and three different provinces. In 2009, I became an American citizen in order to keep working in West Africa or else I would have to give up my green (or resident alien) card for the US. I've lived in West Africa for the last seven years, both Liberia and Ghana. So, when people ask me where I'm from or what my citizenship is, I often don't know what to say.
But that's never really bothered me. Because I've moved so much, I am not that attached to things - I rather enjoy the purge of getting rid of stuff every few years when we move.
Despite all the geographical and physical changes of moving, the core ingredients have remained the same. Myself and my immediate family. And now, of course, Bob is gone. Hannah is in college. Noah is leaving for college in a few short months. Home now needs to be completely redefined. But the scariest thing for me is that I am no longer the same either. The past two years have changed me. And I am homesick for me. It's been two years since I've felt like myself. And I believe that I'll never be the same person that I was when I was with Bob. His life and death has changed me.
People who have experienced significant loss have expressed that various years can be the most difficult - the first, the second, the fourth, etc. Since this is only my second year, I can only compare the first with the second. The first year was comprised of shock, grief, and survival. This past year has been characterized more with me trying to figure out who I am without Bob and where I belong. Unfortunately, even though we have reached the end of the second year, that is still a work in progress, in no small part further complicated by our children leaving home for college.
The song, Homesick by Mercy Me, has been giving me some release over the past few months as it does a good job of expressing my feelings, so I decided to put it to pictures. I know that this is a process and I continue to trust God to give me the "strength to make it through somehow", knowing that He will continue to walk with me and help me define a new "home."