She graciously said I could and I will re-gift you the link in a moment.
The last line of her post says "And just as where everything ends, it will all begin here: home."
And I thought and thought about that line.
And I was amazed because I could read Jennifer's post without crying, without breaking down.
Robert Frost wrote, "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in".
That simple collection of vowels and consonants used to rip my heart apart. I would hear those words or read the beautiful quotes on calendars and little wooden signs with all those sentimental sayings about love and families and homes, and I would literally and completely lose it.
My house WAS NOT a home for a long time to me. My home WAS NOT that place where they have to take you in.
Not only had all but one of our children moved on, but my husband and I had made one of the most horrific and difficult choices in our lives.
We had closed our home to the daughter that remained.
In the deepest times of her addiction we could not let her into our home. At all.
And she lived on the streets with addict friends.
We left food and blankets and toiletries outside on our porch and they were often gone by morning but she did not come inside our house or yard for a long, long time.
I cannot tell you the heartbreak of this as a parent. Or perhaps I do not need to if you have endured something like this.
For years whenever I would hear a quote about home or see one of those signs that say "Home is where they have to take you in" I would cry until I was a hollow shell...empty, aching and hopeless.
A year ago our daughter chose a different way and has been working herself out of that awful lifestyle slowly and steadily.
And I really thought for a long time that it was her changes that changed me.
Because, after all, I could read Jennifer's post without tears.
Jennifer's sentiments did give me a sad moment while I toyed with the regret and loss and remembered horrors.
But her poignant words also reminded me that it had taken a long time to recognize it was not our daughter finding sobriety that was the catalyst for the change in how I felt.
I think what finally changed me is when I recognized how unrealistic my idea of home had become.
I used to have to remind myself that it is still my home with or without our children living here. It is still my home with or without Sunday dinners and chaos.
Oh, I want all the kids here and I want everyone around the table and I want everyone ready to play a silly game or go for a walk or go to the store with me.
But I don't have that anymore.
And I never will again.
It is not necessarily always how I like or want my home to be.
But, for now, home for is where I live. And a place that everyone in my family can come and walk through the open door. Home is where I burn my candles, and leave the newspaper in a messy pile, and where flowers from my garden drop petals in piles of pink and lavender on the old weathered wood of my coffee table. Home is where I write and where I gaze out of the window at the pink streaked evening sky.
Home is now different. But it is still home.
And I really need to remind myself once in a while that just because things have changed doesn't make it bad. And Jennifer's post really helped me to do that.
“The key to change... is to let go of fear,” says Roseanne Cash.
And I really believe that it was fear that fueled a lot of my unrealistic ideas of home for so long.
How could I call this home when our daughter had nowhere to live? How could it be a home when our children were all gone?
My fears were very real to me.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of being lonely. Fear of not being needed. Fear of being forgotten by children who had gone on with their lives. Fear of loosing all control and much of my influence over the people who had counted on me their whole lives.
Letting go of the fear has let me be able to breathe again.
And to be home.
Like Jennifer says, ""And just as where everything ends, it will all begin here: home."
Let's find new beginnings.
Let's find new ways to make sure our homes are not just places of endings...but places where hope and possibility can still bloom and begin again.
Please click here to read Jennifer's post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
And Jennifer? Thank you for reminding me.