O.K., it’s official. I’m homesick. I’m going to get a grip - soon - but this is a new experience for me. As far as I can remember, this is a first. When I went to Girl Scout camp as a kid I was so excited about the camp, the activities, and the counselors I adored that I hardly thought about home. When I got on a bus in the middle of the night and headed from L.A. to B.Y.U. at 17, I had worked so hard for the privilege that I could hardly wait to get there. By the time I started to miss my family it was almost time to go home for Thanksgiving.
This time, I know what homesickness feels like. It feels like the time, in 1982, when Don and I our first opportunity to go to Israel. A trip of a lifetime - but we were leaving three daughters, ages 14, 11, and 5, at home. As the plane sat on the tarmac in Salt Lake City preparing to taxi out to the runway, it was all I could do not to jump up and run screaming from the plane as they bolted the door shut. All of a sudden I couldn’t remember why I had thought leaving my kids to go Israel was such a good idea. In the end, the kids survived just fine without us, and we walked where the Savior walked. It was a life changing experience. Since then, my study of the life of Christ has taken on new meaning. I know Nazareth, I know Bethlehem, I love Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee. I can imagine my Savior there as he traveled and taught, performed miracles and took upon himself the sins of the world. I would have missed all that if I had run screaming from the plane.
I’ve never been away from our kids for longer than a few weeks. Well, that’s not exactly true. They’ve left for months at a time - but I haven’t! They came back and so will I. This is temporary. So why am I struggling? I’m grateful to be with Don and to have this time together. I know the pain of missing our family will all be worth it. I know we and they will have experiences that will greatly enrich all of our lives during the next 2½ years. I know we will learn things and grow in ways we could not otherwise. I’m so excited to see the finished product when we come home!
Today, as I was driving and Don was sleeping, I found a new friend to help me get through this new challenge of homesickness. Johann Sebastian Bach. Classical music was the only thing I could listen to on the Ipod without crying, so Bach and the harpsichord kept me company across the plains. Harpsichord Concerto in D. Concerto in C for 2 Harpsichords. It was magnificent. We had a great time together this afternoon.
I’m so grateful to be traveling with an IPod. I’ll have to remember comfort of good music during the coming days and weeks - which brings me to another subject: being connected. Smart phones, an IPod, an IPad and a couple of laptops connected to the Internet by mobile ap. Here we are somewhere out in the middle of America watching amber waves of grain as far as we can see, and so far we have talked to our kids on the phone, by text, and by email. Soon we’ll give them a cyber-hug on Skype. Gotta love living in 2011. ~Pat~