As they say there’s no place like home.

Last week in our lecture we talked about our families and where home was. We all gave our versions of our family and home. Someone said that their family home had been in many places and they felt home was where their family was. This didn’t so much strike a chord, as a full symphony orchestra playing in a concert hall with great acoustics . It made sense of different, previously unconnected thoughts and took me straight back to multiple Christmas Eves when we always watched the Wizard of Oz* in full technicolour glory on a black and white telly.

I realised Dorothy and I had a lot in common.

Insecurity comes with the territory when it comes to illness and death. From the moment someone says there’s a problem. [In our case Ian’s cancer] life is no longer the same, a window is opened permanently and a cold draft of fear blows through your previously cosy, insular world. This can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, from irrational worry about my loved ones, their health, and my own health. Trying too hard to keep my girls’ world as stress free as possible for them. Trying to be two parents. I have wanted to run away and try and hide from how I feel, but as they say you can run, but you can’t hide. I have tried to protect my girls and give them a safe place and I have tried to find my own safe place. You see our safe place was home, simply where we five were all together and life was relatively straightforward.

As I listened to all the stories of home in that lecture I realised that when I am feeling really stressed and sad, in my head I say over and over again ‘I want to go home’. I just want to be back to where we were. I want to feel the foundations of our home, which was Ian and me, supporting our girls and each other. You see I don’t think any of us in our household have yet got back to home and this is because we still feel the absence of Ian so strongly still. Speaking for myself, I am tired of not being home, it is exhausting to live like this. I want to be able to say that I am happy with just being me; I want to feel complete. I want home to be how we are now. It just doesn’t feel that way a lot of the time. This gradual assimilation of our new landscape is painful and slow.

Some days I feel content and happy and those are the days that I can feel that sense of calm and yes, a sense of home. Yet as soon as life becomes stressful, I am again in that storm, just like Dorothy , I want to be where everything is certain with the ones I love.

And so I often wish I could click my heels and go home, but my pink desert boots just don’t seem to have that movie magic.

*Metro-Goldwyn Mayer 1939

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