I remember standing on my front porch moments away from breaking down, again, and muttering the words “I want to go home.” Let me reiterate, I was on my front porch. I was home. The only home I had ever known for my mere nineteen years on planet earth. I knew the sounds the house made in the hours after midnight. I knew the smells of the kitchen. I knew the nooks and crannies where junk mail and beloved trinkets were hidden. And yet, I wasn’t home at all.
Home had been buried in last year’s Easter dress months prior. You were home, Mom. And you were the home I longed to return to standing on my porch that day. The comfort you brought to my broken heart time and time again, the joy my soul saw when you flashed your smile, the safety your presence alone ensured…Home.
It has been over ten years since that day on my front porch. And I still have not found home. Just the opposite, in fact. I have come to a conclusion. There is no such thing as home.
You can only have home once in your life, kind of like your forever friend from Winne the Pooh. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of deal. I hope to someday move and have a house of my own that will become home to my son and any future children the Lord decides to bless me with. But to me, it will never be home. It will be a house to make my own, a place to sleep and cook and play and clean, walls to hang memories on, and I know that I will love it, but it will not be the home I tell my children of when I’m old and gray. It will not be the home in snapshots in my memory when I think of my childhood. It will not be the home I grasp to take hold of on the nights my heart longs for you, Mom. It will forever be my house, nothing more or less. Never home, at least not emotionally. Physically, it will be where I hang my hat but never my heart.
My heart is forever stuck in a living room with bare black wood floors and an old floor model television set that belonged to my great grandmother before me that I would sit in front of on Saturday mornings before any adults were up and sing along with the theme song to “Green Acres.”
My mind relives bare feet dancing with you in the kitchen while you clapped your hands and smiled that unforgettable smile that could light up any room, awaken joy in a saddened soul, and wash away all the bad of the day.
My soul searches for the many nights I lay beside you, listening to your sleepy voice recite to me the conversion of Saul. I would beg to sleep with you until daddy came in from working in the garage, bringing with him the smell of cold air and motor oil. I breathed it in with every goodnight hug he gave before sending me to my room.
Home was then and there.
You and me and daddy. That time and that place I was forced to grow up from. I was pulled away from there on a cold night in December when heaven become your new home. You moved on and I was left picking up the pieces of my life.
And it has taken me this long to move on myself.
I still lay my head down on a pillow under the same roof I did as a child. I still walk the same hall and sit in the same rooms, but it is only walls and floors and ceilings now. The heart it took to make the house a home is gone, and I know it will never be home again.
No house will be ever again.
And that’s okay. Home doesn’t have to building here on earth. In fact, I don’t think home ever is. I say again: There’s no such thing as home.
There is no such thing as home, no tangible structure to be built or seen with human eye. There is, however, a feeling of home that lives on when I remember my childhood, when I look through old photographs and watch home movies…and see you. Home still lives in my heart and mind and soul. Because your love still holds my heart together, your words of wisdom stills my worried mind, and your comfort lies in wait in the deepest places of my soul.
Home is not a place, but people and memories made and love that knows no boundaries. You are still home, Mom, just as long as I refuse to let you die.
It’s been over ten years and you haven’t died yet. As long as my heart still beats, you wont. Because home is where the heart is, and you are still in mine!
❤ Like Baby Bear Soup