Anyone who knows me, knows that home has been a hard thing for m to define these last few years. I sometimes don’t feel like I have a home to go to but I am learning that home is not just a physical thing (a house with four walls and your immediate family) it can be a state of mind. A state of peace and feeling loved and wanted by the people around you. For years, as I saw my parents marriage crumbling, I felt like home was something I would never have again. So anytime I had to come back to this place we now lived, I was always filled with anxiety. So when I came home this past Thursday, for the first time in almost four months, I was beyond anxious. I hated walking into this house where I had more bad memories than good ones. Where I never felt the spirit of peace, love or joy. Where arguments, confusion, hurt, and anger always filled the atmosphere. This wasn’t home and I did not belong here. The one thing I looked forward to the most was seeing my younger brother and the excitement that filled his face when he saw. Funny how no matter how much of a failure or how bad of a big sister I felt I was to him, he always looked forward to seeing me. I guess that is art of the reason I know I have to great and show him that I worth being called his big sister; someone he can look up to.
Then I would see my mother. Oh, how I love that woman. But we haven’t always had the best of relationships. We are very different people and see the world through different lenses. I guess she is right when she says I am just like my father but now when I hear her voice in my head saying that to me, I feel a sense of sadness. I didn’t want to remind her of a husband that she lost every time I spoke. I didn’t want to be a reminder to her that she no longer had a man to call her own. I struggled enough with trying to be the daughter she wanted and needed. Trying to love her the best I could and make her proud to call me hers. I’ll admit I am not perfect, I am blunt and harsh at times but I always mean well. I don’t always handle my mom with the gentleness she may need, especially in the midst of this divorce but sometime I just don’t know how to . My parents never coddled me growing up. I t was always the hard truth all the time so I find it puzzling when I am expected to coddle them and tell them only the things they want to hear.
But this time, before going home I prayed and asked God to help me make this trip a good one. I didn’t want to leave angry and more resentful like I always had before. I didn’t want to leave and then have it take me another four months or so to come back and deal with the inevitably reality that was mine. That first night, my mother came from work and I hugged her. As always I was anxious and scared of how this week would unfold. She sat down on my bed and we just began talking but I found myself doing most of the talking. I told her that I loved her and that I wanted her to be happy and to forgive people and herself. I told her that God loves her and wants her to be happy and that I didn’t want my little brother growing up always seeing his mom sad, angry or crying. That wasn’t the side of her I wanted him to know. I wanted him to know the happy and forgiving woman that raised me. I told her that she had to stop fighting her own battles and leave room for God to defend her, heal her, and help her move on. I told her that she owed no one an explanation and that her only job is to raise her son into the man he is to be, in Jesus Name. I told her that I could never imagine what its like to be a single mother now after being married for 20 plus years but this is the life she has now and that she has to make the best of it. I reminded her that I can not give her the comfort of God and that I can never replace what she has lost. I promised her that I will love her hard, support her, pray for her and make her the proudest mother to ever walk this God forsaken world. I promised her that I would be the woman God has destined for me to become and I promised her that when the day comes for her to meet her Lord, she will leave with a smile on her face and joy in heart and two beautiful children who know and glorify God. She smiled at me and said I have taught her so much. I smiled and thanked God in my heart and realized at that moment…I am building my home again.