Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome Home

By Belinda

Severe weather causing flight disruption
The southern runway at Heathrow is now open. Airlines are currently operating a significantly reduced schedule while they move diverted aircraft and crew back into position.

It is extremely important that you do not travel to the airport unless you have confirmed your booking with your airline and your flight is showing as 'scheduled' in the live flight information board...
The official website of Heathrow Airport in the U.K. shows hopeful signs that the majority of scheduled flights may take off on Thursday, but thousands remain stranded, holiday plans thwarted, caught up in the chaos caused by the freezing snowy weather in Europe.

Family and Christmas go together like peaches and cream, and being far away from one another is especially lonely and poignant at this time of the year.

In 1969 I was a 19 year old newlywed, spending my first Christmas away from "home" in our new home; Canada. I was wretchedly homesick. Just 3 months earlier we had left England to start a new life, and while Paul's family sailed out of Liverpool together with us in late September, I left behind Mum, Dad and my brother Rob, who was then 16.

I have some idea now, of how sad that Christmas was for them too. The internet would not exist for another 20 years or so, and we could not afford a phone for our first year. I lived for letters from home, which arrived twice a week by airmail. In her letters, Mum wrote about the life I had left behind, the everyday routines of home. But she hid the pain she felt, and the lump of sadness that stayed in her throat for months after we left.

Four years later, during the Christmas of 1973, singers Peters and Lee released a record that went right to the top of the hit parade. It was called Welcome Home. Mum bought the record and brought it with her on her next trip to Canada. It expressed the longing of our hearts to be together. Although the music is dated, the lyrics still touch a chord in my heart. I share it for all the people that are longing to be with family for Christmas. I pray that the weather will clear and that they will make it home.


Susan said...

As much as we enjoy Christmas and family being together, it sure is a time when the absence of those who are missing is exaggerated...

..He will wipe away every tear from their eyes...

Dave Hingsburger said...

Belinda, I didn't know this song or these singers. I looked them up and did you know that the fellow wears dark glasses because of blindness? His story is not a tragic one - and the fact that he can sing about love and loss and loneliness demonstrates something wonderful about the human condition. We are all not so different after all ... welcome home to commonality and shared humanity. That's what so many want at Christmas ... to no longer feel disenfranchised or disconnected. Thanks for this, I loved it. (Susan, go to bed you are up to late)

Belinda said...

Yes, Dave, I was amazed at the story of the male singer. Did you know that he is the uncle of Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones? And he was blinded in separate eyes by accidents that happened many years apart during his childhood and youth?

And I loved your insights.