The comforts of home

What do you consider “home”? Is it the house you grew up in? Is it the first place you lived in after moving out on your own? Is it the house you bought with your spouse? I know some of you moved often during your childhood. Others of you spent time in one or more foster homes before adulthood. Still others are renters and quite satisfied with not worrying about maintenance.

When we were younger, we could not wait until we could start our new adventure. What we didn’t know then is that adventure culminates in finding our new “home” and building new memories. I think we go through a restless period akin to Goldilocks sampling the porridge, chairs, and beds in the Three Bears’ home. We may not know what we are looking for, but we know when we find it.

Home is the place where you made the most memories, where you felt safe, grounded, and surrounded by love. Even as adults, many of us consider “home” as the place we grew up, not the place in which we currently reside. Home is where the heart is. I consider two places as “home”: my primary home is the house Lucy and I bought and my other home is the house my parents now live.

One difficult transition we can face as adults is the sale of our childhood home. Lucy’s siblings found a buyer for their parent’s home and it has been bittersweet for them. The transition is a loss and reminds us that time marches forward even if we may not like the tempo. What was once familiar and comforting has changed. Someday I will be unable to maintain my home, which will probably require me to move into a senior’s center. I will have my memories of home to help me make that transition just as memories of my time with Lucy help me transition to a life without her. In both cases, one can hope the new owners will start building memories of “home” there and have love and joy fill the rooms.

Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel called “You Can’t Go Home Again” with the main point being:

You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

I submit that Mr. Wolfe was wrong. “Home” may have a number of physical changes besides a new owner; in fact, the structure could no longer exist. The memories remain even if the abode does not. Our memories are powerful and can change our perceptions. In “Paradise Lost”, John Milton wrote:

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.

The mind’s power is what helps us cope with the myriad of changes modern life sends our way. We cherish those memories of home, each one a thread woven into our life’s fabric. We use that fabric to shelter us from the unpleasantness that sometimes arises in life. As such, we never lose “home” unless we want it to go away. It will always be with us because it is part of us, providing us with peace, comfort, and smiles. You can go home again. Please keep Steve, Suzy, and Julie in your thoughts as they make this transition.

Yesterday was “National Napping Day” in areas that switched to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. I hope that those of you who actively participated did not do so while driving. Other whimsical days this week include “National Pi Day” on Thursday and “National Quilting Day” on Saturday. Holiday Insights lists more if these interest or amuse you.

Tomorrow marks eleven months since Lucy passed away. Please think of her tomorrow. Thank you for keeping Lucy in your heart.

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Filed under family, literature, philosophy, rebuilding

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