Home

This new video/song from The Piano Guys touched my spirit this morning.


Watching it brought to mind many phrases which talk about home.  Among some of the more familiar are sayings such as, “home is where the heart is” or “be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” Even the precious Dorothy had power to click her ruby-slippered heels while saying, “There’s no place like home” to be transported back to her beloved Kansas.


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Through these thoughts, I began to question what the idea of home really means to me. Is home a physical place? Is it a feeling? Is it an entity all in itself that defies but embodies place, time, or feeling?


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I was born into a home on the east coast of the United States. When I was less than ten years old, our family changed houses (but not cities). I was concerned that I was leaving the familiarity of all I knew up to that point and all I connected with home. Though I was taking my loved ones and toys, my clothing and other belongings with me, I was leaving Pepto-Bismol pink walls of a room where I had slept since I could remember. I worried that my life would change. (And it did.) But I still had a “home.”


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Years later, our family relocated to another state. The culture was different; the surroundings were surreal. Still, I came to call that place home.


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As I have moved many more times throughout my life–both as a child and as an adult, I have developed a new definition of the word home. Home doesn’t mean toys or a blanket or pink walls or even a particular city or state to me anymore. I have learned that home is acceptance, friendship, faith, connection, comfort, peace, and love…wherever this path of life may lead.

Memory

With all this anesthesia going on around my household the last few weeks, I have been thinking of the phrase from doctor after doctor…”the medicine will just make him not remember anything.”  I understand the use of medicines to dull pain and to relieve us from the memory of traumatic experiences; still, this phrase has brought to my mind the power of remembering and of what comes from our memories.

What is your earliest memory?  I think mine is when I was a young girl, maybe five years of age, headed up near a fountain of my dad’s law school with my mother and brother as we took a meal to my father, who would be on campus studying all day.  I don’t know why I don’t remember before that…or why that moment stays with me.  I’m sure we brought Dad meals often (at least I think we did).  Curious, isn’t it?

And then, when times get overwhelming or crazy in our family life, I like to remember with my husband our courtship and the feelings we had when we were first becoming acquainted.  I love to recall those memories as they bring me great comfort.

Likewise, when my children have birthdays, we often talk about our memories of their entrances into this life and the events surrounding their births.  They seem to delight in these moments in our memories, even though they do not recall the time of themselves.

But, what if our memories were taken away from us?  What of those with brain injuries or illness which take away fundamental parts of memory?

I loved the film The Vow (2012), which was based on a true story about a woman who suffered memory loss because of an accident and had to reconstruct her life while losing two years of her experiences.  (SPOILER ALERT)  I LOVED that she was able to find her way back to the choices she made previously of her own accord and had hope in the fact that whatever paths we take through our lives’ journeys, we become the people we need to be.  Here is the trailer to give you some flavor of the film (apologizing for the overt skin shown on the frame below, in case that might be offensive):

So, what do memories mean to you?  Do you wish you could take a magic eraser to some parts of your life?  Do you use memories for comfort?  As reminders of lessons learned?

Give and Take

Sometimes we try to give more than we have…sometimes we take more than we should.

When we are children, we often take…and take…and take some more.  We take knowledge from teachers, wisdom from parents, and energy from the world.  We take life, money, hugs, kisses, tears, and habits from those around us willing to give.

When we have children, we give…and give…and give some more.  Sometimes parents feel no end to the constant giving of time and energy devoted to raising our children, loving them in the way they need to feel love, and disciplining in a way that is meaningful to them, as well.

When we are sick, we take…and take.  We take medicines, energy, and support from our caregivers.  We take healing from prayers and hope and faith.

When we are well, we give…and give.  We give treats to neighbors, kind words to those feeling lonely, carefully typed comments on someone’s blog.

When the holidays come around, we give.  We give canned food to shelters, toys to children, and money to charity.

When we get married, we give…and take.  We give ourselves to one another in the name of union and love…and we take companionship, love, connection (which hopefully is shared more than taken).

Where are you on the continuum of giving and taking…and which feels more fulfilling?

I follow the posts from HONY (Humans of New York) on Facebook…and the post came yesterday that Brandon is taking a trip after no breaks for two years.  He has given many people a view of New York through its people that we could not experience without the power of his photography and the internet by which he shares his images.  He has given for two years and (hopefully) will now be able to take a break and bask in the blessing of the gift he has given the world through this creative project he has undertaken.

My husband asked me the other day, “What do you find most challenging?”  A flood of thoughts poured into my mind, including my writing challenges, keeping up with kiddos’ schedules and homework assignments, making time to refill myself so I have something to give…but my reply came simply, in one word.

“Balance.”

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