Wednesday, June 8, 2011


At the airport, I parked, went to the arrival terminals and waited...

Ever since the world cup, our airport has been the subject of much oooh-ing and aaah-ing... a gorgeous design to accommodate international visitors and domestic travelers.  On Saturday, it was just a wide-open cold space that would usher in my husband and best friend after 14 days away.

The trip back home was necessary - to reconnect with both sides of family during a particularly brutal time of change and tragedy... requiring one of us at least to touch, to be, and to show up in the midst of it all.  Sometimes when a family goes through bad times, we want to be there, just to be... and whatever we say or do is secondary.  The luxury is not given freely:  It costs us on many levels.

Saturday, I was a whipped pony, after a week of change and emotion here in Johannesburg, with our church family.  Without Mario, I felt unbalanced and unprepared to deal with it all, and had two days of crumbling into tears...very uncharacteristic of me!  Both sides my heart that usually are divided with memories and emotion marked "there" and "here" had imploded on the Saturday before.  I was missing my family, wanting to be with my mom, my kids, my grandchildren, grieving for all our families were going through AND feeling the weight and loneliness of leadership, dried fruit, ineffectiveness, tragedy and misunderstanding.....

All without Mario.

To say who Mario is, is almost unnecessary.  Most of you know him, so who he is to me is an intense version of that.  Bright; strong; caring. A man who has a tender side always exposed; and a pillar when the rest of the world is caving in.   The voice of reason; the reminder of promises; the voice in the night that reminds me who I am...and the man who inexplicably loves me without reason.  Every now and then his eyes twinkle when he looks at me with the admiration of a 16 year old boy looking at a prom queen... and I'm elevated to the woman I am to him.

So, I was waiting there in my cutest dress (a retro black mini) in black tights and boots -- my hair and make-up as perfect as it could be...and finally I say him.  Pushing a cart coming out of the customs sliding doors, dressed in camo shorts and a green shirt, scanning the crowd for my face.  When he saw me, he smiled...and that was it.

I made my way to him through a cloud of tears, and hugged him tightly, my head cradled against his chest as always...and lost in his massive arms... I cried my makeup off and my hair looked terrible after the embrace.  I didn't care....

He was home.

I want to take the time to say that I had been separated from my husband for 14 days... not a whole heck of a lot compared to Army wives or Abigail Adams.  Wimpy and out-sacrificed, I have nothing to compare to a woman who strongly survives her husbands' absence for months; even years.

I can say, though, that when you live in a country that is not your own, you feel on shaky ground many times... but when you're with someone who loves you, they become more than just a spouse, they become your home.

I am reminded of the song by Billy Joel, one that I heard as a girl and thought was kind of corny...and now I see the truth behind it.  Even though I had a wonderful home growing up, my adult life has been a disjointed story of places we have lived.  The threads that bind it together are God...and each other.

At the risk of sounding corny, this is my heart today.  I am home with Mario, my love and my best friend.  I have some of the lyrics to "You're my Home"  in my head, and I have to write them down, then encourage whoever is actually reading to look at the very OLD youtube link at the end to have them set to music.

It is for this love...I am grateful.

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow

When you touch my weary head
And you tell me everything will be all right
You say, "Use my body for your bed
And my love will keep you warm throughout the night"
Well I'll never be a stranger and I'll never be alone
Whenever we're together, that's my home

If I travel all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There's a roof above and good walls all around
You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house 'cause you're my home.
You're my home.
Billy Joel's live performance of "You're My Home" is found here.


©Janet Rodriguez 2011

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