Home

When I was a little girl, I begged my momma to let me stay home alone while she ran an errand. Feeling big and brave, I insisted I’d be fine. Knowing I would be, Momma left me in the living room while she drove two blocks to get us hot dogs and come straight back home.

Home.

Immediately after she left, I panicked – a little girl, big scary world, full blown anxiety attack. When Momma came back a long ten minutes (lifetime of misery) later, she found me hanging on the brick wall of the garage screamin’ crying out of fear. I couldn’t handle the house all by myself, and had instead come to wait for her arrival out in the carport.

Home.

I loved that house. Oh, it held treasures! We had six bedrooms, rotating family, one whole room dedicated to our books, our own library! My father had a wood working shop, and there was this huge basement full of exciting surprises that could entertain any child’s imagination for hours. The kicker was that to get to the basement door, one must either brave this freaky carved mask with beady eyes that my parents hung over the stairwell or go out and around to the dungeon door off the yard. I chose to puff up my chest, hold my breath and run clodding down the stairs as fast as possible past the mask. Every time. Until we moved.

Home.

Years ago, I don’t know how many moves later, my older sister lived in a house in Atlanta with a basement and she hung that same dreadful mask over the stairwell. She had her own children by then. Why on Earth would she subject a whole new generation to the mask? Tradition? Nostalgia? A twinge of evil? As the younger sibling, the latter is a reasonable assumption.

Home.

Today I live in a beautiful historic home in downtown York. We’re in the heart of southern charm, we’ve found our place, and we’re settled. And yet. We’re selling it. Seven years ago, this house gave us the hope of finality, and for someone it may become that. It has been standing here in this very spot for ninety years minus a few months. I’m guessing it’s seen it’s lifetime of stories. It’s withstood almost a century of human experiences, and so it will continue to serve its community well. Our own stories are tucked gently within its walls.

When my husband left, that hope of finality for us staying here left as well. It’s taken us over two years to live into that truth, and all during that time our house has unmistakably been our refuge. It’s loved us through a bunch of just plain Hards, a sanctuary for us to escape – a birthplace for our changed family and our strengthened, resilient selves.

Home.

My momma went Home five years ago. I talk with her all the time, hear her voice in my conscious, think back to all the times when dramatic me had gotten so worked up, and can still see her sighing, “Oh Patrish.” I feel her hugs and her practical, sarcastic wit pulling me back into the present. Oh, Momma. Her kindness. Her patience with me in my irrational moments. Mom embodied “home”.

Dad still lives in their house, invited in a new wife who’s different from Mom but worthy of her place there. That house needed a woman again, and while a bit awkward at times, her merging of their lives provides a chance to witness growth. New love. (And new love, even in eighty year olds, is just as cheesy as new love in teenagers. Still fun to watch.)

Home.

We get incredibly attached to our buildings, our bits, and our things. We think we aren’t that connected to our simple clutter until change introduces itself, and then we panic all over again. It is completely true that Home is in the people, not the tangible, but it’s still a Hard Good – moving. The boys and I run the gamut of emotions on any given day on how we feel about letting someone new live in our house while we’re gone on this next adventure. Of course these people will have paid for this house and taken over the deed (and would probably be a bit disturbed if we showed back up announcing our adventure finished). But. The ownership of this space will still be ours until another landing spot deems itself worthy of the title.

Home.

H.O.M.E.

Home.

One thought on “Home

  1. Oh my โ€œParrishโ€ This made me cry because I need H O M E too๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ. Thank you thank for sharing. Heidi

    Like

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