Today, I have a sick child. Ava isn’t feeling well, and we left church early, so my mom could take her to her house. She put her in a bed, so I could run out in the car and get the things she needed.
When I returned to my mother’s, there is my child, snug as a bug in her grandmother’s bed. She’s buried up to her eyeballs in a comfy blanket, and is lying still as can be on my mother’s heated mattress pad. All in all, not a bad situation if you’re sick. My mom is catering to her. I am catering to her. All is right with the world. After all, isn’t all any of us really need in this world is to know that there’s someone out there who is going to take care of us? This is a perfect segue for me to bring in the fact that our Heavenly Father, ultimately, is the One Who will always take care of us. It is always He Who will meet our needs. But for today, I’m talking about humans. Those angels right here on Earth who are placed in our lives to cater to us when we have our own needs.
Once I knew that Ava was safe and secure in bed, had been given the fluids and meds that she needed, my entire body- mind and all- just wanted to shut down for a bit. I made myself a place on a couch in my mother’s room (within eyeshot of Ava), found my own comfy blanket, and allowed myself to just turn everything off for a moment. For this rare, fleeting instance I wasn’t going to be mom, or teacher, or friend, or sister, or any other hat that I wear. I was simply going to be “Amanda”, and I was going to let myself get the rest I’ve needed.
It struck me, as I was attempting to tune my mind off of the everyday static, just how blessed I am to have a mother’s home to go to where I can let the stressors of the everyday world just wash off of me the moment I enter the threshold of her home. Home. That’s the key. It is in this feeling (this sense) of “home” that I am most at peace. An important aspect that I’ve learned over the years is that HOME doesn’t have anything to do with a location. Home is not an address. It doesn’t matter if my family is residing in Fort Smith, AR, or in Rogersville, TN, my home is truly where they are.
It is at this home that I would return from weekends at college- armloads of laundry to do, and parents who were eager to see us. I could rest here like nothing I would ever experience at school. Too many friends, dances, nights, and classes to really be able to let oneself completely relax.
It is at this home that I would bring newborn babies. Tired, frazzled, and feeling exhaustion like I’ve never known, and I could hand over these little loves of my life to people who loved them (almost!) equally as much. I could lie down, and close my eyes, and recharge my completely drained battery.
It is at this home that I would return during the darkest days of my divorce, and be able to just rest, cry, and know that someone in the other room had my best interest at heart. Regardless of what was happening in my personal life, I never had to worry about being alone. As long as my family is here, I’ll always have someone. That’s a good thing to know.
It is at this home that I would spend the last few months/weeks/days/moments of my father’s life. What should, on the surface, be a difficult space to enter into because of the insurmountable levels of loss experienced on that January day, is a complete place of peace for me. Ironically, it is because of the insurmountable levels of loss experienced on that day, paired with the peace and love that burst into every corner of the home… filling the walls, and the air, and all spaces in between with the sweetest of memories any human could ever be fortunate enough to have. Immeasurable love abides here.
It is at this home that even now, as I type this, my mother (without a word) sets down a cup of hot tea beside me and walks away. I realize how blessed I am. I am so thankful for this home which has been provided for me, my children, and all who enter into our world.