Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Long Way Home

Last weekend I attended a singles retreat with my church. The location of the retreat was about 30 minutes north of Louisville in a lovely, secluded wooded area of Indiana. It was probably the most low stress, drama free retreats I've ever been on, which makes my first experience so enjoyable, I'm anxious to go back.

When we pulled out of there on Saturday afternoon, the weather was gorgeous and I looked forward to the drive home. I was so involved in the drive that I missed a turn and took a few more country roads than I had originally planned. But, after getting back on track, my car had found its way to the highway and headed for the bridge that would take me back to Kentucky. It was one of those days that you wanted to drive forever. I probably could have if I hadn't been so sleep-deprived from the weekend of fun. Even though I wasn't as perky of a driver, I felt the need to take "the long way home."

My Mom has been gone almost six years, which is hard to fathom at times. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her, miss her, or remember something she said or taught me. My Mom was notorious for her sayings and commentary - what a lot of folks miss about her. God has been gracious and has brought back to me "new memories" - those that were somewhere in the depths of my heart and soul, yet I hadn't thought of them in years. Like a sweet piece of peppermint candy, I'll savor those memories as long as they last and enjoy the refreshing aftertaste that keep that memory alive. A few weeks ago I had one of those moments and relived it this weekend.

I grew up in the south end of Louisville, yet we would drive to the east end of town to shop, eat, or run errands. Mom and I loved to go shop - mostly at craft stores - and then go try out the newest restaurant in town. Once we would be ready to head home, Mom would proclaim, "Let's take the long way home." I loved those words. That phrase meant that instead of hopping on the highway that would take us home in 15-20 minutes, we would take the scenic route. In Louisville, that meant driving through old Bardstown Road, the Highlands, up beautiful Eastern Parkway and around to the area of town where we lived. Mom would tell stories, point out significant landmarks, and laugh as we talked about almost anything. When I was younger and we'd be leaving one of our day excursions, I'd hold my breath hoping Mom would say those six wonderful words, "let's take the long way home." I could almost always count on her saying it every time.

As I drove home on Saturday, I relived that moment, but this time, by myself, and headed to the southeastern end of town where I live now. I reflected on how much Mom would have loved taking that "long way home" and as I traversed through new areas of town, I reminisced about memories that I have in those areas, much like my Mom did for me. The trip was complete as I stopped off at a local craft store to buy some yarn for a project I'm working on. There was a time when I rebelled against the statement, "You are just like your Mom." Now, I live for it. Thanks, Mom, for teaching me the joy in taking the long way home.


SheThinker said...

I love Eastern Parkway and the Highlands! That part of the city is so great. The Highlands at night is so cool too. It reminds me of driving through DC one night. We were coming back from having supper in Falls Church, VA and drove through Chevy Chase, which is like DC's Highlands.

I know what you mean about taking the long way and looking at the scenary. Grandma was from Bedford, IN, which is about 2 hours north of here, and I LOVED driving up there to spend a week with her family. Most of the way up there is spend driving through small towns and stuff. It was one of my favorite things to do, and since I didn't go to school it was easy to take a few days off and go with her. She had a friend who lived about 20 minutes outside of the town, and on the way out to see her, Grandma used to point out where she used to live and tell me about growing up on a farm. If I could have one wish, it'd be to have Grandma back for a week to be spent in Bedford. It's the thing i miss most.

Jules said...

I want to say, "You have no idea how blessed you are to have such sweet memories of your mother..." but I can't because I think you do. I love my mom, but we don't share the same kind of intimacy--spiritually---that you and your mother had. I used to just pine for some kind of spiritual surrogate mother, but I've kind of abandoned that now. Either way, in a weird way, we both miss our mothers, but take comfort in knowing that you have this deep wellspring of knowledge and wisdom that she left with you along with all those sweet memories. :o)

RosieBoo said...


That's a great wish. Many days I wish Mom was still here...it's just the most wonderful feeling to know that one day, I'll see her again. And, your Grandma and my Mom can show us all around in Heaven...


I do cherish the memories my Mom left me. I just hope I can do the same for someone in my life.

Shell said...

So sweet! Thanks for reminding me that I need to cherish my mother more.

RosieBoo said...


Do cherish your mother more...because one day, when she's gone, you'll be very glad you did. :)

toesterp1 said...

Mom would be proud.