Homecoming
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“Homecoming,” Ensign, July 1998, 45

Homecoming

It was just the same old me who walked toward your room

on the seventh floor on that cold December night,

just me with the same old problems of

every day.

Still agonizing over Christmas traffic and a lost

suitcase, I entered the room where you lay, not nearly

prepared to find you dying.

So many years bottled up inside of me, I turned away,

thinking that if I ran quickly home I would see you

at the table, smiling your loving greeting.

You would pass me on the way to bed, touch my hair

and say,

Susan, doll, how lovely it is to have you here …

But I couldn’t run away from you.

Not now.

It was just the old me that I left crying in the hallway as I

reentered the room where you lay.

Who was this person within me,

so long forgotten in the maze of everyday things,

who walked

smiling through tears to hold your hand one more time?

Who was this person within me who felt no fear through

the bonds of family love that filled the air that night?

Who was this person within me who whispered,

It’s all right to let go now,

and who rejoiced silently for your homecoming awaiting?

I have walked through that door in my mind a hundred times

since your passing

just to smell the sweet scent of the veil

so thin and to feel, once again, the words that came from somewhere

not so far away, saying,

Andrew, Beloved, how lovely it is to have you here …

The tears were only ours that night,

for your pain had turned

to triumph.

Photo by Welden C. Andersen