Home is where we start from – T.S. Eliot
This week is the 100th anniversary of my mom’s birth. That wording is a little odd, but I don’ like saying it was her one hundredth birthday. Mom died at age sixty-nine – far too early, but her body was worn out. She talked to all five of her kids the day she died, and she blessedly passed away in her sleep. For my first college admissions I had to ask my mother what her profession was, and she said Homemaker. And that was so true. Her love, and the sweetness she created around her, made our house into a home. The house still stands, but it hasn’t truly been a home for a long, long time.
As part of our journey into adulthood, we have to gain perspective on childhood. We cannot live fully unless we accept life as it was and not what we continue to wish it to have been (pardon the convoluted sentence structure). In childhood we could have raced down ten thousand different paths. But we didn’t. Turn around. Take a good long look. See clearly the path you followed and know that you cannot go back and retrace a single step – not one. Those footprints in the dust of time are like the footprints Apollo astronauts left on the moon – unreachable.
Part of being a parent is the heartache we feel when our dearest kids walk out the door of the home we shared and into a home of their own making. Our paths diverge. Even today I cry at the bittersweet memories of having to drag my soul down the sidewalk and leave them. It felt like two magnets being pulled apart, knowing that we would be forever connected across space and over time – just not physically. Not being able to hug them and kiss them goodnight, and know they are safe and sound – those lashes of emotions are still some of the most difficult to bear.
After my painful divorce, I had to remake a home for my sweeties. Despite everything else I had to do, my most important role in life was – homemaker. My kids were just seven, five and three years old – far too young to have their world shattered. Many nights they would wander down the dark hallway to the couch I slept on, seeking comfort in the confusion. I bedded down on that old couch for sixteen years in order to give them privacy with bedroom doors they could close, something I never had until high school. There were no single dad’s support groups, no role models except hapless Hollywood males who lost their “careers” and had to suffer being a father for a while – what a bunch of crap. L-O-V-E was the key. It was the only path I could take into the future. We made a home together – me and my wonderful children. I send my prayers many times a day. They will always be my blessed miracles.
Sadly, many people don’t believe in miracles. Miracles abound in this world we share. Please make your home a place where miracles can happen. Discover the great joy that comes when you accept home is where the heart is. Open your heart to the miraculous, by making yourself, and those you love, at home. When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. – Albert Camus