concept of Home
Sometimes I end up not writing here because big(ish) things are going on but I can’t really talk about them and if I can’t talk about them I don’t want to talk about something else…. slippery slope and all that. Many times I don’t write everything about a situation – I’m sure you all know that – for one thing who wants to hear every detail and for another I don’t like to document the bad sides if I can help it. Not because I want to hide it to appear ‘perfect’ for you all, but, to keep myself from vividly remembering the negative when I re-read something I wrote in the future. Way too often I forget things, I call it a byproduct of a busy and full life, but I can read something I wrote and be transported back and really remember what was going on so I hate to skip things totally just because there is something I don’t like in the mix. So here is a compromise post, it isn’t the whole thing but better than nothing.
My title; Home, is something I’ve given thought to a lot over the years. Maybe it is just me but I call way too many places home. I say I’m going ‘home’ for summer break and mean Sayville and when I’m in sayville I’ll refer to my parents house as ‘home’ but also my house in MN too. At the end of the visit I always say I’m going ‘home’ and mean MN. Maybe we need some more words that mean “that place I’m going to and my stuff is and I plan to sleep at”. Mixed into the definition of home is all sorts of baseball terms (home base, home run) there is a home row on a keyboard where your fingers rest, and I’ll often say I need to ‘find a home’ for an item and my house if full of ‘homeless’ items that move from place to place. Home often boils down to a place where you are safe and welcome and it is yours. Sometimes I shudder when people proclaim that the beach is ‘their home’ or the people at pennsic say ‘welcome home’ because it sounds dramatic and off to me, but, it is something lots of people say and really feel so there is something to it.
So. Why is it that people get hung up on a particular address? I am somewhat one of those people…. I love the memories made in each of the houses I’ve lived in. I also have great memories in my friends homes,but, how silly would it sound to be more than passingly sad that my highschool boyfriends (who I have not seen since 1999) parents moved and sold the house that I hung out in so much over a few years? If that actually caused me real distress you all should have me committed – they moved house, they didn’t erase my memories (nor their own) and they moved because it was the right decision. People move all the time for good reasons – out of the nest to college, first apartment, the string of early places you live with people then with your boyfriend, then the first ‘real’ house etc. There is a ton of moving from age 18 to 30 for most people and everyone celebrates those moves with parties and house plants and gifts like fire extinguishers… Yes – things then slow down. Some people still move every 4-8 years – growing family, job change, etc and some don’t spending 40 years at the same address. Why oh why is it gloom and doom to move from a house into a retirement community? (ahhhh, yes…. here is the point.) When your children are adults, your spouse has died, you have lived alone and don’t like it what are you hanging on to? More importantly – why do so many other people insist that your HOUSE is your one and only option for HOME? It isn’t as distant a connection as me to my HS BF’s parents, but, not really all that far. Would you do this to a kid moving into their first house? Why would you do it to someone moving into a retirement community where they will be safe and well fed and provided with a ton of things to do?
The 400 of you who subscribe/read this might think I’ve gone on quite a tangent this time. The 4 people I wish would read this likely never will. My grandmother is being pulled in too many directions and at this point I don’t even want to be a part of it because being part of it is now just being a part of the problem. She will do so much better in the gorgeous senior living facility with all the amenities but my aunts and uncle are dead set against it. I feel like there is a bit less of a ‘home’ in Sayville now since this issue is driving a wedge/building a huge wall. Ironically, my grandmother is an only child who tells EVERYONE that they NEED to have more than one child because she hated being an only, and, one of her life goals was to build a big happy family. She did a great job producing 4 kids who love her and are all in the same town … but… and I can’t even write the but…
I will keep calling her every week. Where her body is when I call does not truly matter to our relationship.