caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.


ok, so i must be honest…at first thought…hearing the word “homecoming” makes me immediately flashback to my good ol’ high school days and i am bombarded with memories of the days of blue and gold….

that’s right… and gold…everywhere! homecoming was sort of a big deal at my high school…not as much as the awards dance in the spring, called legacy…but still, homecoming was something that we “did” and most people took part in, at least all my friends, and it was cool…i guess. well, i took part. and i was cool…or so i thought, at least. 🙂

the tradition was to find a cute boy and somehow get him to ask you to homecoming…others of my friends didn’t have a hard time with that part…..and then you would arrange for his parents to fork over a ridiculous amount of money on a mum with both of your names splattered down it in blue and gold…of course adding the other doo-dads and trinkets that showed off all you were involved in….varsity volleyball…so add a dangly gold volleyball thingy…and he is in choir, so put some music notes down the little hoopy things on this side…one time she liked dance, so for goodness sake, we have to add some twirly sort of flashy gold dancer somewhere on the thing…and so on and so forth…adding roughly 38 pounds (and who knows how many dollars!!) to the monstrosity that was somehow supposed to be supported by a safety pin and attached to my bra strap. the guys (and therefore my parent’s pocketbook), however, got off much easier and just wore the arm thingy with a much, much more tamed down version of the mum….man, i bet that thing only weighed like 2 pounds. isn’t the logic backwards here??

anyway…so you wore this mum to school that friday and jingle jangled with pride up and down the halls all day, dropping golden pieces everywhere and whooping and hollering for your good ol’ patriots all the while. 🙂 then, you wore it to the football game that night (or what was left of it after a full day of school)…and of course then hung it on your wall for the rest of the year, assuming you still liked the guy you went with. which, i, generally did. in fact, i still had my senior year mum until fairly recently when my sweet husband finally gave me “the look” that says he loves me dearly but that if he has to store one more box full of my childhood junk he’s going to make me sleep out here with it….so i relented and threw it out. i do still have my letter jacket somewhere though…shh…don’t tell ryan! 🙂

then, there was the dance, saturday night. typical high school deal…girls in short cocktail dresses, boys in suits….girls spending ALL day getting ready….hair done with faaar too much hairspray and the type of hairdo in the mid-late 90’s that once you actually got home and removed all the bobby pins, it all stayed perfectly in place…still perched atop your head…miraculous…nails done (and lasting a whopping three days until the next volleyball game when your $35 went down the drain after your first serve)….some would go tanning, not me thanks to the rules in my house..hated it then, thankful now……and the boys would do nothing all day and then perhaps shower, throw on their cheap cologne and suit up at 6pm and go meet at someone’s house for all the traditional group photos…..ok, now let’s get one of all the girls…..ok, now all the guys….ok, now each couple…..etc.

ahhh…i have fairly good memories of homecoming in high school. the concept of homecoming is a good one. seeing the almuni come back to visit….only from the year before, because everyone knew it was lame to go back and visit after one year…..but it was cool to see them, even though they were all sporting their college tshirts, and acted like they were sort of put out by being there and strangely enough, even seemed waay older than we were….

homecoming. good concept. good memories. not sure how i got off on this tangent. well, let’s be honest, it’s me. is it really a stretch to see me go off on a tangent? (that was rhetorical, by the way)

but i am happy…actually BEYOND THRILLED to discuss my newest memories of what homecoming means to me now…..

now…to me…homecoming means the idea that the doctors…after SIXTEEN days in the hospital…..did you read that…..S I X T E E N days away from my babies, my man, my bed, my shower, my clothes, my couch, my shows recorded on my tv, my fridge….my world…..after SIXTEEN days of being laid up in a hospital bed, hooked up to an iv, eating grilled chicken, broccoli spears, carrots and baked potatoes….after SIXTEEN days of pain and tests…unanswered questions, unsure diagnosis……after SIXTEEN days of it all….i was getting to come home.

that was some good news. that was a homecoming worth celebrating.

and boy did i.

i couldn’t wait. honestly, as i sit here and try to type about it, it is hard for me to find the words….and if you know me at all, i RARELY lack for words. there was that time that i got engaged to my sweet man and was speechless and almost peed on myself in front of hundreds of people cause i was sooo surprised…..and then there was the time i was asked to try and describe what it’s like being a mom….or giving birth…..or rushing your kid to the ER……..ok, there have been a few times…..

but this was a great time. and it is hard to describe.

i was filled with so much joy. and thankfulness. and joy. and excitement. and anticipation. and peace. and joy. and giddiness. and relief. and something that resembles the expression of “IT’S ABOUT STINKIN’ TIME!!!”….all at the same time…

you see, my kids didn’t know i was coming home that day. it was going to be a surprise. they had asked me, pretty much every single day, multiple times a day, since i left when i was coming home. that was maybe the hardest part of being gone. because they were only ages 5, 3 and 17 months….they didn’t quite get it fully. and i got A LOT of…”mama, are they going to let you come home, today?” “can you just ask the doctors and the nurses to let you come home today?” “why can’t they fix you today, mama?” “do you think you will be home by my birthday, mama?” (ya, that one was the hardest, and unfortunately, the answer was no.)

but on this day, my homecoming day……i couldn’t wait to see their little faces, hug their little necks and just sit on my couch and be at home. i live in a modest home. it is nice, but not fancy. but i can’t tell you how much i missed so very many things about it. most of all were the little faces (and the really hot big face!) 🙂 that make it not a house, but a home.

man, i wanted not only a 38 pound mum…i wanted a whole stinkin parade on this day. i felt i deserved it…after the year i’ve had….and after these looong 16 days away……

but not really. really, i didn’t care. i just wanted to get home. and i did. i got to the couch and had some time to rest before ryan and the kids got there. i sat there and thanked God for letting me come home….for giving me a place i wanted so badly to come home to…and people i sooo badly wanted to be around. i am so blessed.

then they came in.

ryan had their little eyes covered and said “i have a surprise for you….ready, one…two….three. open!!” the older two opened there eyes and kinda stood there for just a second, almost as if what they were seeing couldn’t be real…..but then ran to me and just hugged me…..they didn’t scream or squeal (they are boys after all:) they just ran and hugged me….for a looooong time. sweet sister friend did squeal (atta girl!!) and ran to me giggling with her sweet toddler self…..they all kinda piled on…and for a few minutes i didn’t even care about the pain, i just hugged…..and my oldest just kept looking up at me and smiling and then hugging me some more….

it was wonderful. it was pure. it was perfect.

it was my homecoming. and i couldn’t be more thankful.

i knew God had been with me the entire time in the hospital. i knew it because i couldn’t have made it otherwise. i believe he healed me when He did. I believe i will continue to get better. and i know, because He loves me, that that homecoming was a great day for Him, too. He made us to love, and He taught us to love…..and i know that He saw each tear i cried in that hospital bed. i know He saw each tear they cried missing their mama, while i was away. not one will be wasted. He has a plan. i will continue to trust in that, as i am home (thank you, God) but still so far from being back to normal. so very far)

i believe i wasn’t the only one rejoicing that day…..i bet if there were mums in heaven, God would have worm one for me that day…He would have wanted to celebrate that homecoming day with me. sounds silly….maybe? but true. and He would proudly wear my name down the side of it.

obviously, His would be made with real gold, though. 🙂

Psalm 100 “A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

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One thought on “homecoming

  1. I can picture your homecoming so vividly thanks to your eloquent words that I cried…. I think of you and pray for you often.

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