We went to the mountains yesterday. Camping is just not the same anymore… Even though the kids were so excited, there is always this dense sort of quiet that kind of hangs out in the background. Everyone notices it, and we all complain a bit in our own way, but nobody can change it. 

It almost feels better to just stay home. At least there, I have a sense of direction to my day. The drudgery of each new sunrise is now familiar, and even gives me a sense of comfort. For some reason, going away just creates longing within to be back home. 

I remember before Josie was killed, we had many conversations about where we would call home in the future—it certainly did not seem like Olathe would be a part of that picture. We never could settle on exactly where that new place would be, but there was always an unspoken agreement that we would stick together.

Several years ago, Josie and Maya gave me a very special Christmas present. It was a little teddy bear that had an apron with the words, “Home is Where Your Mom is…” However, Josie added an extra personal touch to this little bear by hand embroidering a tiny patch to fit over the word your. The little bear’s apron now read, “Home is Where My Mom is…”

This little bear is now one of my most cherished material possessions. Through this little bear, I have come to understand the truthfulness of its message, and also feel how close Josie continues to linger. The bond we share has never been severed—not even in death. 

As I contemplate the immense love I have for each of my children, I am overcome with love and gratitude that the Lord has blessed me with such richness. In my eyes, they could not be more perfect. They are all My Home… Whether it be under a tree, or elsewhere, our home is something that resides within our hearts—and nobody can touch that!!!

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