Thursday, June 2, 2011


The topic of "home" has been on my mind for a few weeks now.  I am trying to figure out  the concept of home.  When I was a child and we were moving around every couple years or so, "home" was my beloved Granny's house in Southern Indiana.  It was the place we always went back to and the place I felt most grounded. 

As I got a little older, got married, had my son, I still went back there but it wasn't quite the same.  We had made our own home in Massachusetts and no matter how tough it was, it was still "home".   Eventually we all aged (and grew up!) and my mom began to have health issues. 

When Dad retired in 2001 back to their "home" (same city in Southern Indiana) hubby and I realized that one of us girls should be nearer to my folks in case they needed us.  Hubby has 3 sibs, two of whom live at home and could help his parents when their health started to fail but we girls were literally spread out across the US.  As we  had an adult "child" and my sisters both had younger children, we were the best candidates to move nearer my folks.  An interesting thing happened when we moved out here.  When we got settled, it was as if something clicked.  It was a feeling of "ahhhhhh, here I am- this is where I belong." 

We have been back to MA a few times since and it no longer felt like it was home.  In fact, while we were there, especially when we returned for my Mother-in-Law's funeral, neither of us could wait to get back "home".  It just wasn't our place any longer. 

Recently, my Father-In-Law has been having a really tough time medically.  He is fighting inoperable lung cancer and though we know that the sibs are doing a great job, hubby wanted- no, needed- to go back and see him.  I completely understand and encouraged that but it really threw me when hubby said that he "needed to go home."  I am not sure why it threw me.  Maybe because I love the life that we have made here and I assumed that he does too.  Maybe because when we went back the last two times, he's the one who brought up being ready to come back. 

Over Memorial Day weekend, we sent him back to spend time with his dad and our son.  He had a lovely visit with them both which is so important to both of us.  I, on the other hand, spent the weekend with parents.  The puppies and I love going to visit them.  The puppies get to run around in the yard chasing squirrels and bunnies which they much prefer to being on their leads outside.  It's the one place that I can truly relax and not think about work, or any of the other stresses of being a grown up.  I too had a lovely visit but the whole weekend I thought about what "home" really means. 

The only conclusion that I came to was that it's not about where you live, it's not about where you work or where you rest your head.  Home is about the people that you love and who love you.  I think- at least until I get this really figured out- that whenever you are going to the people that you love, it can feel like home.  No matter where my son, my husband, my family and my friends that are family are- there is just a feeling of "rightness" when I am with them.  That is something that until now I took for granted.  I can't quite reconcile that with the peace that I found when we moved here so I will keep working through this until I get it right.  Can there be two different ways to be "home"?  What am I missing as I think through this?  Does anyone know for sure? 

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