Homecomings are notable for a variety of reasons. The reconnecting of friends that you haven’t seen in a while is a meaningful time for many. Life flies by us before we knew what was happening. One minute, we’re a child, then teenager, then adult, some are parents, while others forge different paths. Yesterday was a time of celebration for one of the church’s I attend and work with, and it was beautiful.
When I was a child, I loved to watch Little House on the Prairie. An episode titled “If I Should Wake Before I Die” impacts me to this day. Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen that episode. The woman who featured prominently on that episode was named Amy. She had several children, all of whom moved far away and lived their lives through correspondence, but not visits. Amy got the wild idea to have a living wake. Only, she didn’t want her children to know she was still alive. She recruited the entire town to help pull off this charade. One by one, her children arrived to see her. They were unaware that their mother was alive and well. It wasn’t until the end of the episode that her children learned she was still alive and well. They were understandably upset with her, but she explained her actions and that all she wanted was to see her children and grandchildren before she left the earth. None of us have to agree with her actions, but I think the story can resonate with many of us. Many people struggle with spending time with loved ones only to find out that it’s too late. We forget to take the time and come up with excuse after excuse. Sometimes those excuses are legitimate and other times; they are excuses because we’re tired or don’t feel like doing things. Amy got her homecoming with her children, and no other episode mentioned her and her family again. I like to believe that things turned around for her, but I feel that the reality was she didn’t have another homecoming like that until her death.
I wish I could have stayed for the beautiful meal that the folks brought. It was a time to catch up, fellowship, laugh, and touch one another with simple gestures. Family reunions, class reunions, and other gatherings for homecoming always bring opportunities to catch up with one another and remember days long gone. It’s also a chance to focus on the future. Having goals and plans is necessary for life, but so is human interaction. People need each other, and homecomings are a reminder that the past is part of the present and future.
If you have the opportunity to go to any of the homecomings, I hope you give it serious consideration and go. If there are people that you don’t want to see, I understand all too well. But there are always folks that may go that you haven’t seen in a long time, and catching up with them can be fun and worthwhile. Not all homecomings are lovely, and I get that fact. But don’t live your life with “what if’s because time is short; opportunities are only available for a short while. Have a great Monday, everyone.”