Be Always Coming Home


Audrey and Carol in the middle, circa 1965

Several years ago, while reading a biography of Laura Bush, I discovered she takes an annual vacation with her childhood friends from elementary school.  I remember the very spot I was sitting when I read that. I loved the loyalty, endurance and comfort of those friendships.  It made me wistful.  Ah…wouldn’t that be grand?

Grand is too tame a word.  Wouldn’t it be…magnificent?

There were six girls that grew up together.  We didn’t all go to the same school, but we were together up to three times a week at church.  Our parents were the pillars. We are all the same age. We all have older siblings.  It seems strange by today’s nomadic standards, but our entire childhood was at the same church. 

1967 Lombard Awana Olympics Team

By the time we graduated from high school three families had moved to different parts of the country; we all went our ways.  And we just lost contact.  You know, the Christmas letter connection that fades away as life’s busyness intervenes.  Too many moves.

This summer, thanks to Facebook and siblings, we found each other.  And emails began flying back and forth at a furious speed.  Audrey is overseas, but planned to be in the states in September.  Would we, could we get together?  It seemed impossible, too grand.  But it is true! We booked a cabin so the six of us could reconnect.  We’re coming together from Albania, Arizona, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Illinois.

I often tell my adult sons: Be always coming home.  

I see this reunion as a home-coming.  We shared the roots of our lives.  We are familiar with the incipient underground growth before we started greening up and blossoming.  How many friends know the entire structure/dynamics of your family of origin?  We’re eager to hear all those chapters that happened after the 1970s.  We want to know and be known. Between us, almost every heartbreak common to mankind has happened (lost a young parent, lost a young child, lost a marriage, family members with disabilities).  We all have a story.  And, amazing grace!, we all still love God. 

We simply want to be under the same ceiling, with time to talk. I am certain that I will learn things about myself just being with these friends.  We’ll have about 66 hours together.  We want to talk, laugh, cry, sing, pray, eat, giggle and sleep only if we must.  I anticipate healing will take place. 

I consider this coming weekend one of God’s great gifts in my life.  It is profound love. It is extravagant grace. It is a magnificent mercy.  Color me thankful.

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7 thoughts on “Be Always Coming Home

  1.  Carol, that is so beautiful.  I’m crying.  What a lovely blessing for you and your friends.  I pray the weekend will be as magnificent as hoped it would be.

  2. I am so happy for you. I have clung fiercely to my childhood friendships because I believe they are so vital and I really treasure them even though I may not see my friends often. My best childhood friend lives in Norway. The last time I saw her was 2004–but the last time before that was 1977! Our bond was intact and our rapport effortless. I know you will have a wonderful time with your friends.

  3. “Be always coming home.”  What a rich sentence.It resonates with Augustine’s conversation with his friends, “Until we meet again in the glory of our Father’s house.”

  4. Pingback: The Gift of Deep Friendship | A Living Pencil

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