My family used to live so close I could throw a pinecone and almost hit their house. I would wake up in the morning to find them in my front yard, with my mom planting flowers and my dad mowing the grass. Because that is what they do. Their love language is acts of service all the way, and they would literally give you the shirts of their backs if you were in a bind.
My definition of family changed over the last eight years. I got married. I had two beautiful boys. And we moved over two thousand miles away. Then we moved again, closer but still far from the place I was rooted.
And lately I’ve been feeling a little homesick for my South Carolina abode. But I realized something.
Yesterday, when I was talking to my Dad on the phone and listening to him laugh, I knew we are closer now than we’ve ever been.
We share stories. We listen. We digest each word spoken over the miles that divide us. We talk about faith and hope and those sweet boys that have stolen our hearts.
When the miles between us evaporate into the sultry hot summer sky, we savor each moment spent together. I put away my phone, my schedule, and my consciousness of time and just sit. I soak it all in. The smell of the home where I grew up, azalea bushes and fried okra.
I understand now that though we are far apart geographically, we are close. Closer than we’ve ever been.
*Azalea photo courtesy of