I remember visiting a family friend in Dallas when I was 10. I flew, on a plane, alone, to spend four days with their family. Looking at this now, I can not believe they let me go.
My mother planned ahead and mailed a letter to me, most likely days before I ever left. It arrived on the second day of my stay. The bottom of the letter was signed, “love ya, Mom.”
That closing made me ache in homesickness. It spoke more to me about my mother than most of the letter. It was exactly how she spoke. “Love ya.” It is not “Love YOU,” just “love ya.”
Twenty five years later, in Dallas, my husband emails me a simple reply to a question. We’ve talked multiple times a day during my stay, have access to each other in ways not conceived of in 1985. and yet, there is one letter, 2 sentences long, with a closing that stings my eyes during class.
The smallest familiarity can bring an ocean of homesickness and I’m blinking back tears.
10 guests here now.