I'm finally going home to NOLA this saturday for an entire week. But tonight I'm filled with an almost overwhelming home-sickness. Maybe it's because I'm so close to seeing my dad and mom that I'm finally realizing how much I miss them. I know that God has plans to reunite my family, but it's just so painful knowing how much of my life they are missing out on, how excruciating I find it that my father has yet to meet Maggie, how I wish we could meet for breakfast on Saturday mornings-- my father and I gorging on biscuits, bacon, eggs, and ALWAYS a single pancake, while my mom orders a "dry" biscuit and black coffee with at least a 1/4 cup of sugar in it.
Tears are steaming down my face, not out of excitement but out of near inconsolable sadness. It feels like my life has been split into halves. One half consisting of my parents and of New Orleans and of my family and how it was years ago, when we were all best friends, and when I was young and of a place where I was free and reckless, and quixotic, and beautiful.
The other half is here in Raleigh, and I'm mature, and a good wife, and an aspiring excellent mother, and a leader of worship at a church, and studying apologetics, and cooking meals for my family, and older, wiser, kinder...
I know my life is no longer back there in New Orleans. I realize that New Orleans is my Egypt, and that I had arrived at the promised land here in Raleigh. I know that going back would not be good for my children or for my marriage and maybe it wouldn't be good for me either.
But there has to be something I can bring back with me. A piece of home here. Maybe I could bring the French Quarter, or just the beignets, maybe I can bring jazz to the streets, or an underground playhouse featuring an improv cast, or perhaps I can bring everyone's yat accents, or maybe just crawfish étouffée. But most of the time I wish that piece were my parents. Sometimes I wonder (and doubt) if they'd ever agree to come.