Throughout my life I have had a problem with homesickness. Now for some who know how much I have traveled and been away from home, this may come as a surprise. I remember being homesick at Camp Fire Girls camp when I was eight. I remember being homesick at 4-H camp when I was thirteen. I remember being homesick at Evergreen Girls' State at sixteen. First night at WSU--homesick. First night in London--homesick (and really so, because I also had the flu and there was no one to take care of me or feel sorry for me...woe is me!) First night, first summer in Boston--yup, homesick. I even was homesick in the hospital after Andrew was born. Everyone had left--even Andrew was in the nursery. The feeling of homesickness was so strong I felt physically ill. For the past two weeks I have that same feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am homesick for my home with Andrew in it.
I think there are two reasons why I have felt this way lately. One reason is the fact that I am with sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen year old kids five days a week. And the fact that some of those kids were friends from day care, classmates and teammates of Andrew's when he went to school in Waitsburg makes his spirit even stronger. I see Justin, Austin, Kaz, Devin, Tre, Alyssa, Megan, and Christy every day. When I look at them, I think of dropping off Andrew at Judy's Day Care, seeing Kaz and Austin already playing upstairs. I remember playing "I spy with my little eye" with Andrew and Devin as we walked to day care when the boys were in kindergarten. I remember them being first and second graders playing soccer. I think of Justin, Devin, and Tre learning to play basketball with Andrew. I remember birthday parties and snowmobile outtings. Lately, I just remember those days so vividly.
A second reason is that Hendrix has moved into Andrew's room. I still have many of his pictures and things in his room. His letterman's jacket hangs in the closet. The football signed by the WP team sits on his dresser. Last month I would go into the room, maybe once a day. Now, I am in there multiple times in a hour. His essence is still in that room. It will always be his room, even if we start adding a bit of princess here and there. They make pink camo. It goes with the deer mural that guards the room.
So, I miss Andrew. I am homesick for the home that he was a part of. I miss having multiple boxes of very unhealthy cereal in the cupboard. I miss having granola bar wrappers stuffed under the cushions of the sofa in the backroom. I miss tripping over that huge backpack of his that never seemed to be in the place it was suppose to be. I miss the phone call--"Come get me." I miss being his mom.
I missed him so much today, I just had to stop and visit him on my way home. I love visiting him. I feel him there. It still seems surreal, but I love going up and watering his flowers. This way, I can still take care of him.
Tonight as I sit here, missing him, I am reminded yet again that Andrew is with his Heavenly Father and he has a project that he is working on. My students of the past have been keeping him busy. First there was Lily and then Mabel. Now he brought Jake Lee to Caris and Cody Tuesday night. I know the babies of my school children all have the same guardian angel--Andrew. I still miss him so, but I know that God knew what Andrew's life was like before he came to me and He knows what his life will be after he left me.
Even though I felt homesickness the first night of most all of my adventures, I ended up being strong and getting over it. I know, with God's help, I will be strong, but I don't think I'll ever really get over the feeling of missing Andrew. But I do love the image of him being a guardian angel to the babies who have recently entered our lives. I know for a fact, he is the guardian angel to one little five year old, who now sleeps in his bed and helps fill the space in my heart that misses Andrew.