Good morning friends. My windows are open and the curtains are swaying with the chilly Autumn breeze gently blowing in. I have a fresh batch of simmering potpourri on the stove top and there is a wonderful fragrance of citrus in the air from the lemon and orange peels I used.
I have just finished my coffee and have sat down to say hello. That's when I happened to notice that this blog has gotten over 4 million visits in the last year!
I don't pay too much attention numbers, but I am staring at that numbers in total amazement and still wondering how that could be.
What is it about Welcome Home that brings people in? Is it the name? I remember two years ago when I wanted to start a Facebook page to preserve the memories of my Mom who moved to Heaven a few years before. I didn't know what to call it. I know I was missing her terribly that day and facing the fact that when she left, I felt so lost. I had lost my best friend and a Mother that loved me beyond anything imaginable and I was suffering that morning from the yearning and longing to just hug her once more. I can remember thinking not only did I lose her, but I had lost my home.
My Mom was our home. Everything that said "home" went with her when she moved to Heaven. The kitchen, once so full of love and activity, now sat so empty and quiet. There were no more wonderful smells coming from that old stove and the house was no longer filled with the wonderful aroma of homemade bread or heavenly pot roasts. There were no more pots on the stove filled with soups and stews and no more hot sizzling cast iron skillets filled with fried chicken or pork chops. She was gone and that kitchen would never again be the same.
She left at the beginning of spring and the garden also felt her loss. It would no longer produce so much life and energy. It would be empty now and so out of place without her in it. The front porch that we loved so much was now just a porch with a swing full of memories. And her beloved Lilac Bush even seemed to bloom less that year she moved. It was like life had just stopped all around that house when she left.
It just wasn't home anymore without my Mom. It was just a house. A building with rooms that no longer hosted her presence. It was so quiet and so empty and it seemed so dark. There was no bright sunlight shining in through the windows and no pretty flowers on the window sills. Her dainty curtains were no longer blowing in the breeze and gone were the wonderful fragrances of roses and lilacs from her garden nearby. It was just a house and it would be like that for the rest of my life.
I so missed that feeling of coming home. I wasn't only mourning the loss of the greatest love my life had ever known, I was also mourning the loss of home. All my life I knew I could always go home. No matter where I traveled or how hard the challenges of the world could be, I knew I could always go home and feel better about everything. It was the most wonderful place on earth. It felt safe and that same feeling I felt as a little girl was still there throughout all my life.
I felt that nothing bad could ever happen there. It was filled with so much love you could just feel it from the time you stepped through the gate and into the yard. As you entered the front door you knew you were going to be met with open arms that would wrap around you and make you feel wanted. It was a place that brought comfort and warmth and so many memories of years gone by. It was my safe haven and my place of refuge and I thought it would be there until the end of time. I was wrong.
So on that morning of October 27, 2012, I decided I wanted to create a page to keep my Mom's memory alive. I wanted to create my own feeling of home.....a feeling I missed so much. I wanted to create a place that brought back those memories and those feelings of walking up those front steps and into that loving place that said, "Welcome Home."
And so that would be the name I would call this little page and it was set only for me to do these writings about my life with my Mom. A page where I could possibly bring back those feelings of a place that I remembered. I would call it Welcome Home and create a place where I could maybe feel that comfort again with her old recipes, garden tips, and above all her every day wisdom and her intense love for God.
Little did I know that so many felt the same way when they lost that feeling of coming home. Maybe that's what brings you all here. Maybe I really have created that sense of warmth and love and comfort. Maybe I have stirred up those old memories and have brought comfort to many through a simple little page that reached so many hearts.
If I have made one person feel those feelings again.....and if I have been able to bring back that comfort to just a handful of people who lost it.....then I know that this was meant to be.
Welcome Home my friends. Welcome home.