Welcome Home

This phrase “Welcome Home” has so many meanings for me.  I can recall, as an adult returning to my childhood home, how eagerly my mother greeted me at the door…..and how many times I have experienced that as a mother myself, greeting my daughter’s arrival….and now son-in-law’s and grandsons’. 

 I think of all the evenings years ago when my husband and I walked up the driveway to view our house under construction.  I vivdly recall how I experienced walking in for the first time after everything was moved in.  Now as we cart loads to the house we are about to move into, I feel a sense of welcome when I enter. 

There are other meanings for me.  At one time I volunteered for “Welcome Home,” a hospice program that served impoverished folks who had no funds for hospice care, a blessed endeavor.

In the midst of boxes and memories, I came across today the leaflet from the funeral of my father, (another hospice patient whose final months were in our home).  I share this reading that was included. 

                                                                     To Those I Love

“When I am gone, release me, let me go.

I have so many things to see and do.

You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears,

Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love.  You can only guess

How much you gave to me in happiness

I thank you for the love you each have shown,

But now it’s time I travel on alone.

So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must

Then let your grief be comforted by trust.

It’s only for awhile that we must part

So bless the memories within your heart

I won’t be far away, for life goes on

So if you need me, call and I will come.

Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near

And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear

All of my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone,

I’ll greet with a smile, and say, ‘Welcome Home.’”

For those for whom the holiday season is less a time of “celebration,” and more a time of grief, of loss, of depression; I pray that there is a space of respite from the burden of the holidays and a sanctuary where your heart is at peace, a place of welcome and of home. 

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.  Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  For me, a warm drink goes a long way towards soothing my spirits and my mother’s Cranberry Juice Punch lends a festive touch regardless of mood.  This memory of my mother making this in her percolator (remember those?) makes me smile.  This is the recipe she copied for me: 

“9 c. cranberry juice cocktail; 9 c. pineapple juice; 4 c. water; ¾ c. brown sugar; 6 whole cloves, stick of cinnamon.

Mix together and perk in coffee pot (or put spices and water in pan and boil to get flavor—then add other ingredients and heat.)  Serve hot.  Spices I listed are just an estimate as to amount.  You might like less cloves and more cinnamon.”  😊