Home is where the heart is. Home sweet home. There’s no place like home. We know all this, but what makes home, home? Is it where you were born, where you grew up, where you currently live? Is it a specific place, an area, a feeling, a structure? Is it reflective of the # of years you spent living there? Can there be more than one place you call Home? I hope it is obvious that I am not talking about just where you hang your hat at the moment, but the place you call “home” when you are talking about it from your heart. This can be an easy question, but it can also be a complicated one!
For me, Home has always been and will always be my original home town! It is where I was born and raised and where I plan for my body to go when I leave this earth to walk with the angels! It is where I have most of my ties – family, friends, memories! It is where I went to school and where I got married! It is where I skinned my knees learning to ride a bike, where I tore up the roads learning to drive a car, and where I took more than a few spills learning to ride mini-bikes, dirt bikes, and motorcycles! I feel comfortable and content when I am there! It is where I can find peace looking out over the lake or visiting those I have loved and lost at the local cemetery or just being where my history is! It is where I can laugh so hard I can’t see or breathe and I lose all control! It is where my soul will forever live! It is where I know I can always go and not be judged, not be stressed, and just enjoy the love of family and dear friends!
I never thought I would call anywhere else Home! It took me many years of living in the city I currently live in to start considering it home. But, over the past several years, I have gotten active in my community, found some good friends, and am finding comfort there. I am quickly approaching an equal # of years that I have lived in each area – I lived in my original home town for the first 28 1/2 years of my life and in my current home town for the past 24 1/2 years. It is finally more than just a place to live and work – which is what it was for far too many years. It is where I find joy in taking pride in my community and working with non-profits. It is where I am making NEW memories and learning NEW things and enjoying NEW experiences! It is where I purchased my first home as a family when I first moved there with my new husband and son. It is where I purchased my first home on my own and where I have made that home a reflection of my personality and a source of pride in what I have accomplished with it. It is where I can sit out on my patio on a lovely evening and shut out all the troubles of the day. It is where I find comfort in mingling my past, my present, and my future with things, memories, and dreams that define each chapter of my life and help to blur the lines between the chapters. I have come to love my current home town, but find sadness that it is so very far away from my true home town. It has become my “second home”, but my first home will still always be what I refer to when I use the term “Home” in reflection of where my heart is!!!!
As for my final home: I find comfort in knowing where I will go for all eternity and that it is a breathtakingly beautiful place near family! My Grandfather gave me an incredible gift many years ago – he deeded a spot in the family plot to me. It is directly beside my Grandparents and an Uncle I never knew because he died when he was just a child. It is down just a few slots from my Poppie and where my Mom will eventually be placed beside him. It is in a cemetery where many, many of my ancestors are laid to rest – both those I had the pleasure of knowing and loving and those I never knew in this life, but will meet when we all gather in the after life. Just this year, I went ahead and purchased a memorial stone that was recently placed on my final home. I put a lot of thought into it and it is a wonderful reflection of me. It is made from Himalayan Blue granite, has an angel with a garland of roses on the right side and a rose laying on the bottom left corner. It includes the words “beloved daughter and granddaughter”, which is something I feel in my heart always. I also had the phrase “In the arms of the angels” written on the base. I love it! While I have absolutely no desire to actually take up residence in this final home for many, many years, it gives me a warm feeling knowing that when that time comes, I will have a place to go that is in the area I hold dearest in my heart, in a place that is so beautiful and peaceful, and where so many of my family and friends are and will be with me.
So, yes — Home can be a complicated thing, but no matter where you are or how you view it, there is always a past, current, and future aspect of what you call Home. And there is always ONE that is stronger and closer to your heart and what defines that one place is different for everyone! Think about what defines Home for you and remember it and be thankful for it during this holiday season — reflecting on memories is what makes a Home and what makes the holidays and life in general so precious!