Home isn’t always a place. Home is (and should be) being in state of comfort and love. I have had many homes growing up as a child of a father in the military. Back then and even today sometimes, home was the place where my family set up a house for more than a couple of years. My original home was in Oklahoma until my parents settled in Texas and then that was my primary home.
Then my at-the-time fiancée joined the military and I followed her for five years. We had a home overseas and then in California, but now she is out and we settled in Illinois. That is home now but probably not forever, but the place doesn’t really matter as long as I have my wife, my daughter, and any other children we have together.
We came down to Texas for a last trip before going back to work and starting our new lives. And it seemed okay on the drive here and even when we arrived. But then it wasn’t.
My father passed away from cancer five years ago. The house in Texas was only under his name to relieve my mother from the burden of trying to juggle two houses and payments in his absence. The last time I was here three years ago, my mother was still living in that house. It was still a home of mine that I could walk into and look at the rooms and walls and see and feel the memories of our years there.
Visiting town now, another family lives in that home and it is no longer a place I can call home. I took it hard. I don’t have a lot of pictures of the house or the outside, where my father worked on his last project- a deck in the back yard. It upset me, it angered me.
But it never changes the fact that it was once my home and it doesn’t take the memoriea away. It still hurts though. The child in me wants to keep that house and perserve the way it was when my father was still alive.
Because maybe it makes it feel like he’s not gone. But he is and that isn’t my house anymore.
And I should be happy that he began work on something that another family and maybe many other families can enjoy for years to come.
The house does not make the home. The memories make it. And as much as I can’t entirely let go of that house, I do have my memories and I do have a new home with my own family now and I wouldn’t change it.
I guess I just wish I knew how to make it not hurt so much to think about.