My sweet daughter and I have been at Hershey Medical Center for over two weeks and there is no telling how much longer we will be here. She will not come home, so I will not leave her. I know this is where I belong now, but I am homesick.
I am struck by how deeply I miss my house, my yard, my studio – how much I want to go home. At the same time, I am crushed at the thought of how sad it will be to return without my Jessica. How will that place ever feel like home again?
My house will feel like home because Jessie chose it. “She wants a fireplace, stairs, and a bubbling tub.” She has cooked with me in the kitchen; tossed laundry onto Daddy’s head from the landing; painted pictures, rocks, faces, and fingernails at the table; overflowed the Jacuzzi with bath bubbles; run me up those stairs every night until I thought my legs would fall off to respond to her requests for band-aids, water bottle, music, Chuck (her guinea pig), a drink . . . “Mommy’s coming, Big Girl.” She even inspired my friend Linda Billet to hide a secret butterfly for her in the custom mosaic fireplace surround Jessie “helped” her install earlier this year.
My yard will feel like home because Jessie loves it. She and I have spent hours swinging on the front porch, surveying the landscape, watching the bugs, waving at the neighbors. She has helped me shop for plants and heckled me while I worked up a sweat planting them. The fish in our backyard pond have kissed her fingers and made her giggle. She even “convinced” me that inflatable yard decorations are essential for Christmas – and Easter, and Thanksgiving, and Halloween.
My studio will feel like home because Jessie will, as she always has, inspire me to create beautiful things. Her spirit, her joy, her exuberance, her tenacity, and her tenderness will continue to influence everything I do. I will not lose my Jessica. She has made me who I am. She is of me and with me forever.
Jessica has loved home. We have loved her. I want to go home.