On Saturday, my mom left the house she’s lived in since 1960. That’s 57 years in one home. She lived on the same property, different house, for six years before that. It’s the same property my father lived in for all of his 80 years, excepting his service in World War II.
That property and that home, will always be my first home. When I close my eyes, I can see the tree line towering over the valley where the two-story block and brick home is nestled. I know the pattern of the pink tile floor in the bathroom with its squares and rectangles. I can hear the sound the attic fan makes as it stirs to life. And, I know in exactly which parts of the yard the wild purple and white violets grow.
The home I’ve shared with my husband is almost as well known, but not quite. I don’t have a child’s eye for detail any longer. And I don’t have quite the same affection for it. We have more of a love/hate relationship. Should money fall from the sky and enable us to make this house the home we envision, things would be different, but, as it stands, meh. I could leave it without missing it very much.
And yet, despite my mixed feelings about it, it’s a source of comfort, as homes should be. A place where you can most fully be yourself with those you most love. The only place you really want to be when you’re sick. The place where you sleep most comfortably (one hopes). The walls that offer you a sense of security and permanence. A shelter from the sometimes harsh world beyond its doors.
I’m probably more a homebody than most. Lack of disposable income for travel and the sheer amount of effort required in relocating six people for any period of time may have made me so. But for the most part, I am content under a familiar roof where beat the hearts of my husband and children.
Home, like many mundane but meaningful aspects of our lives, is just a foretaste of what is to come. For that reason alone, I’m grateful for the familiarity of the modest homes in which I’ve lived that allow me to glimpse all that is to come – every treasured moment, detail, and comfort awaiting me the day that I return to that for which I was born, in the safe embrace of my heavenly home.
What does home mean to you?