Where is Home?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Home is... where your heart is.

Home is... where you hang your hat.

Home is... where you can say whatever you want because no one listens to you anyway. (I found that online, ha!)

So I left "home" in Louisville to go "home" to West Virginia this past week while my mom had surgery. Her first night in the hospital, I really didn't want to stay at her apartment by myself. I thought for sure that I could stay with a good friend, so I went back to my mom's to gather my belongings. I started driving toward my friend's house, but she didn't answer her phone. I called my sister (in law), Julie, but she was with her friends. Suddenly, I was driving to nowhere to be with no one. I ended up in the parking lot of my grandmother's nursing home. I knew I could go and spend time with her -- and she would love it -- but it was 9:00 p.m. and I was exhausted after spending all day at the hospital with my mom. I had a small breakdown and called my husband crying. "I don't have a home!" I sobbed. "I don't have anywhere to go!"

He gently reminded me that I didn't live in Morgantown anymore; that my home was in Louisville. But Morgantown is home, too, I thought. It's where I'm from. But as I sat in my car with all of my belongings in bags and suitcases -- with tears streaming down my face and with nowhere to lay my head at the end of a long day -- with my beloved miles and miles away and no one to hold me when I cried -- it didn't feel like home at all.

Wesley also reminded me that I could go back to my mom's apartment, or into Sundale to be with my grandmother until someone called. I ended up choosing the latter, and my grandmother was delighted to see me. I slept on the twin bed in her room until Julie called at 11:15 p.m, and then I gratefully went "home" with her. The next day I went "home" to Charleston, to stay with my (Wes's, but my) family. That felt a little more like home. Now I'm back in Louisville, grateful to be home for good.

Home. What a cherished, elusive thing it is.

Here's a little more insight into me: My parents divorced when I was 7, so I grew up never quite knowing where home was. I switched houses every week and lived out of a suitcase for the most part. To this day, I hate traveling. I hate packing my belongings in a suitcase, trying to figure out what to take and what to leave behind. When we moved to Louisville, I wouldn't rest until our aparment felt like home (my poor, poor newly-married husband really put up with a lot!). Home means a lot to me... but I often don't know what or where it is.

Where -- or what -- is home for you?


kim said...

home is where I can be myself...so, definitely my apt (but not the city of Louisville), NC and so many friends homes there until I move and my apt will be my home by the end of March - hooray, and St. Augustine is my home. Lakeland, which is my home, where my parents live, is my home too - but it is hard there because I think we are our worst when we are with family, so I don't think i'm myself. See you on the 13th at Toast!

Amanda said...

I lived in the same exact spot my whole life. So, when I moved into an apartment for school and now 2 different apartments with my husband, I feel a little homeless. I know that my parents' home could be home, it doesn't feel like it as much anymore. I am anxious to get ourselves settled in our own home so that I can get that rooted down feeling back.

Ashley M said...

You know, I went through very similar emotions and such when P and I first got married. But as we move and visit family and what not, I'm always reminded that my "home" is wherever Patrick and Benjamin are. I can make our home, I can buy this or that. I can do whatever I want, but my house isn't a home until my men are there.

Amanda said...

I lived in the same small town my entire life, and I married a military kid. John loves moving. Moving state to state, not just house to house. We lived in 3 states last year! Hopefully I will get him to settle down somewhere, so that some place seems like home. But for now, home is Louisville.

Good post, Beth. Very good.

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