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"Home is where the heart is..."

Peter Pan would focus on the second star on the right and fly straight on 'til morning to make his way home. Dorothy finally realized she needed only close her eyes and click her heels three times to be back in Auntie Em's house, and that "there's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Home. Just saying the word makes me feel better. And tonight it feels extra special to sit here surrounded by all the wonderful, colorful, clutter of the life I've made with my family. It's warm and cozy and safe and blessedly just right. Not too big. Not too small. Just right. Absolutely perfect in every way.

Tonight as I sit on my comfy red couch, my eldest daughter is in Scotland trying to make a bed in a hostel feel like home, and my mother-in-law is winging her way toward her own little bed - the best of "homes" when you're weary - far away from here. I shutter at the pain she must be in - and questioned the decision to undertake such a brutal "adventure" to get back to her nest. I wanted so much for her to stay in the bed that is still made up in the dining room. And the part of me that is more Smother than Mother would have delighted in never having my daughter leave on her own "excellent adventure". But the call to return to an old home and the desire to make a new one can be strong. They needed to go and I respect their decisions.

But I hope they both know that they have a home here, too, and that the door - and my heart - will always be open wide and ready to welcome them for however long they wish to stay whenever they wish to come. All they need do is focus on that little star on the right or click their heels three times. Or simply close their eyes and remember. Home. Right in their hearts. Always and forever. Amen.

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