Having grown up among the busy streets of one of the most popular cities in the world and then moving away from such a loved country, I found myself truly excited to be returning to the bustling streets I once called home. Especially at the magical time of Christmas.
After an exhausting 12hr flight from Salt Lake City to London Heathrow, I was embraced by the people and place I love the most. London still looked exactly the same as when I left – of course except for a few minor adjustments! It was even more incredible in that I was sharing this experience with my husband and 1yr old little boy.
I have to admit, the most amazing part of my trip was walking into my parents’ home and feeling the love and spirit of my family members. It had been 2 and a half years since I had been around these members of my family yet our relationships hadn’t changed at all. We quickly clicked back into the old jokes and banter we used to share.
While visiting, I was able to introduce my son to both sets of his great grandparents. Seeing the joy in their eyes as they witnessed a new generation of their family was heartwarming.
Seeing my grandparents in good spirt and health was comforting. My granddad has a way of always seeing the bright side of things and sharing a joke to lighten the mood. My nanny is the definition of service and would bend backwards to ensure the comfort of a needy friend or homeless animal. To know that 2 years hadn’t changed a thing for them was wonderful.
One thing shocked me while being home for Christmas. That was the sheer beauty of my three cousins. Hannah has had an extremely busy two and a half years working on her teaching degree and has almost accomplished all her outstanding coursework. Even through she is buried under the stressful workload, she is still as glamorous as ever and loves and cares for her family and friends. Laura jumped right into roll of ‘Aunty’ for Jude and created such a beautiful bond. Her successful entry into her career has not changed her witty humor and positive outlook on life. Laura is without a doubt a beautiful independent girl who I love to pieces. Emma is my youngest cousin who I haven’t seen at all since leaving (apart from a couple of appearances on a Skype call!). I quite honestly did a double take when seeing her. She has grown into an extremely stunning women and has a loving and patient spirit. Growing up we were inseparable and had more of a sisterly bond. I was so very happy to return to the same relationship with only a stronger love for these beautiful girls.
While visiting home I was able to revisit many old places that bought back such incredible memories; walking the halls of the home I grew up in, the same home where I struggled to find my own unique identity in a clouded world of fake beauty and copy cats of the latest “hot” celebrity. Now, looking at the person I have become and the adorable family I am starting was an insightful and peaceful experience. Knowing that I had worked through those difficulties was inspiring.
Christmas itself was magical. ‘Santa’ came and visited Jude Christmas morning to which Jude’s reaction was to pull off the beard and reveal my dad all dressed up to play the part! Everyone gathered for a festive feast and tore open Christmas crackers to share the cheesy jokes inside. Even though it wasn’t a white Christmas, it was most certainly one I will treasure. Being surrounded by immediate family and feeling the love we have for one another is irreplaceable. I was able to truly relax and be myself, not to mention laughing so hard my sides hurt.
Jude was extremely spoilt the entire time we were there. He was showered with wonderful gifts from many friends and family members. He enjoyed being smothered in thousands of cuddles and kisses and above all, he loved being told how handsome he was. My son, even though only 13 months old, knows he is a cutie!!
Among visiting many different family members and friends, we were able to find the time to take Jude to the aquarium and Bocketts Farm. To say Jude enjoyed himself is an understatement. Firstly he was enthralled by having my brother and his wife join us, along with my parents and cousins. This purely meant he has more people to show off his newly learnt walking skills off to! Secondly, Jude loves animals and therefore loved both trips out immensely. Christmas was certainly a magical and wonderful time of year for the Kersey Family!
I can honestly say that while writing this I am shedding many tears. Leaving my family back in England and returning to America has been almost impossible. I can’t describe the feeling of being torn between countries. I can only explain the heartache and longing I feel to return to home to the family I love. I know that my home is wherever Oliver, Jude and I are. However, that doesn’t remove the lonely feeling of missing other family members. This desire to be near to them was only strengthened by an incredible holiday! Thank you to all those who made it so wonderful.