TNIM TALKS – What or where is home

A few weeks ago I was flicking through my Facebook feed and saw this quote:

It got me thinking, what is the definition of home? Is this quote correct, is it not where you are from but where you are wanted, is it a place, a person or is it a combination of everything?

So I thought I’d turn to my lovely TNIM Talks bloggers and ask them:

What or Where Is Home?

Miriam from But, Still Breathing

I stare at the back of the U-Haul trailer as my husband drives down Highway 190. Another tear slides down my cheek despite my best efforts to choke down my emotions, and I try to nonchalantly wipe it away before he sees it. I can’t believe we have to move. I know Leland will be there with me, of course, but I can’t imagine having to live in Houston. We brought our own furniture, lots of pictures, and other things to make us comfortable, but I’m already convinced – it won’t be Home.

***

Here I am. Leaving.  Moving. I know it’s what I have to do for my double lung transplant – it’s a requirement. But now that it’s happening, I feel like I’m being ripped apart.

I close my eyes and see our little house, every inch of it built by our family, every piece lovingly handpicked.

I picture the lake nearby our town, sparkling in the summer, blue sky reflecting and making it look bluer than it really is.

I breathe in and can almost smell the pine trees that go on for miles in the National Forest.

I imagine all the faces of my friends, my truest of true family, precious people that have known me forever and understand my real self…

Home.

Will I ever see it again? Am I ever coming back?

I can’t think about that now. I have to steel myself for what’s ahead. Wipe those tears, girl. You have work to do.

****

People have this cliche saying, “Home is where your heart is.” This alludes to the fact that wherever your family is, your Home is, no matter where you are at the time.

It has been my experience that this is not always true.

For me, Home is a combination of factors that come together to a rare ultimate perfection.

Home is my husband Leland.

Home is our tiny house in the back of my parent’s property, where we live in what we jokingly call The Ford Compound with my parents, my brother, and my grandmother.

Home is my in-laws being less than five minutes away, bringing dinner and having coffee.

Home is my congregation, a group of incredible people who have known me since childhood, and can tell when I say “I’m fine” – that I’m not.

Home is the lake, and the smell of pine trees, and love-bugs that come every September.

You see, Home is the box that carries all of those items in it. It’s all wrapped up together and if even a single thing goes missing it’s not the same.

When I was in that SUV, staring at the back of that U-Haul on my way to fight the hardest battle that I had fought up to that point in my life, I made a promise to myself. When I asked myself the question, Am I ever coming back?, I answered, YES, I’m coming Home.

Then I fought like crazy to get back here.

When it was too painful, I thought, I’m going Home.

When it was too hard, I told myself, I’m going Home.

When I didn’t want to try anymore, I said quietly to myself…

I am Going Home.

And you know what?

It was so worth it.

About Miriam

On March 6, 2015, my life began again. I had waited over six months on the transplant list, which for someone like me felt perceptively forever, and I came precariously close to the unimaginable. But, on that remarkable day, because of an anonymous organ donor, I received my new, sparkly, fantastic lungs! My life hasn’t been the same since.

So, what’s this blog about? All the adventures that go along with being a transplant recipient and a sufferer of chronic illness  – the good, the bad, and the unapologetic. Since that extraordinary day, my whole perception has changed – how I feel about life, the meaning of true friendship, who I consider to be family, even things as seemingly simple as how I view food (I eat a lot more of candy now!). Join me on my journey. Perhaps we’ll learn something new about life together.

Visit Miriam’s blog

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Shona from Thriving Sistas

As a little girl, home was the house on the street where I lived. It had a mother and a stepfather and just one other person – me. Being an only child I often felt lonely at home and would tell myself that when I was big enough to get my own home, it would be filled with lots of kids and it would be noisy and happy.

Fast-forward a few years and I did indeed get my very own home, complete with husband and two children. And for a significant amount of time, it was a happy home. Then one day, my husband decided he wanted a different home. So he left, and all of a sudden home was just me and the two children. It was, for all intents and purposes, a broken home.

I was – needless to say – a sad mess in the weeks and months following. My idea of what constituted a home had been broken into a million tiny shreds, and this alone almost broke ME. Until the day I realised that in order to move forward and eventually find happiness – TRUE happiness – I would need to drastically rethink my definition of ‘home’.

And thus begun a long period of soul-searching. Of going deep inside myself and looking at – questioning – every single belief I had ever had regarding family, love, friendship and home. Over time (quite a LONG time) I came to the realisation that for me, home is not a physical location at all. Home is where there is love – regardless of location OR quantity of people in said home. I can honestly say that this realisation has been one the sweetest and most freeing epiphanies of my life.

Today, I am still living in the marital home, and will be until sometime in the near future when it is sold. And then? I have no idea. Something will turn up, and I have learnt to have faith that whatever turns up will be the right thing for me at that time. But if it turns out that it’s not, I know that it won’t be the end of the world. I – we – will just find somewhere else to go.

We will find a house, and we will make it a home. Because home is where the heart is at.

About Shona

Shona is a divorced single mother (to two teenagers) and writer from Australia.

After surviving the pain of the sudden and unexpected breakdown of her marriage, her passion now lies in supporting and empowering women to not only survive but THRIVE through change and upheaval – whatever the cause of that change and upheaval.

If you are currently, or have ever, or will POTENTIALLY ever go through any of these sucky situations then please head over to Shona’s site and check it out:

  • Separation and/or Divorce
  • Feeling unsure of yourself or where you’re headed due to ANY significant life change or upheaval
  • A tendency to give your power away in relationships
  • Not realising your true worth OR the empowered goddess that you truly are

https://www.thrivingsistas.com/

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Michelle from Mum from the Heart

“Home is where your Mum is”

A few years ago I purchased a magnet for my Mum for Mothers day, I saw it and it was perfect! I moved out of my Mothers house when I was 17. Moved over 400km away to attend university and visited as often as I could. But after a few years the visits became less frequent and within a few years I was working full time, engaged and saving for my first house. But once a year I returned home to visit Mum, it was always still home, people would ask where I was going and I would say Home, without a thought.

When my first daughter was born my relationship with my Mum went to a new level. I had a new level of appreciation for all she did, for the love a Mum has for her child and for the love she had for her Granddaughter. We spent a lot more time talking and as I was on maternity leave more time visiting too. The house she lives in is not my childhood home, I only lived there 3 years so I know it’s not the house she lives in, it’s not the familiar streets or the old friends that still live nearby, its Mum. It’s the smell of her perfume, it’s the warmth of her hugs and the joy in her laugh. It’s the genuine joy when we see her that makes me feel at home. My Mums house, wherever that is will always be my home.

Now I am a Mum myself and I can see it from the other side. I love my kids with all my heart, I work hard to make this house our Home, to fill it with love and laughter and joy. To ensure it is a safe place for them to explore who they are, and who they will be. Somewhere to heal when hurt as well as grow and shine and ultimately to always be there home, no matter where they end up. Its not about how clean the house is or where it is located, its about the feeling we fill it with and the save haven it provides to us.

I hope in 20 years my kids is saying the same thing Home is where your Mum is.

About Michelle:

As Mums we need to truly be able to love ourselves, find the fun in the chaos and have a giggle along the way. When we do this we can parent from love not fear and that’s my goal. I have struggled along the way with PND, 3 kids under 3 and my own fear of messing this all up but I have come through all that with so many new skills, with new knowledge and a level of self-compassion that I strive to teach to other Mums.

Today I work as a counsellor and parental coach for other parents who are struggling. I help parents adapt to the stressors that come with parenting and find their own sense of well-being so they too can parent from the heart.

My blog is my journey of letting go of the fear of not being a perfect mum, embracing the energy and enthusiasm of 3 young kids finding the fun in each day.

Visit Michelle’s blog.

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Kirsty from That Noise Is Mine

As I write this I am sitting in a single bed, in a pink bedroom at my parents house surrounded by toys from my childhood.  My boys are in the next room asleep in a big queen sized bed and in a room that are also toys and trinkets from my childhood.

Throughout the house there are things, all of these little things that remind me of my childhood. From cutlery to furniture to family routines.  It’s all a reminder of where I once called home.

This house, however, isn’t the home I grew up in, this isn’t even the bed that I used to sleep in and I moved away from this town nearly 10 years ago but when I come back here it still feels like home – while I am here.

There are memories attached to this town and people here that make it feel like home.  Everywhere I go I remember certain parts of my childhood. There are people here, family and friends, who make me feel at home whenever I come back.

The dwellings have changed, the town has changed but the feelings and the warmth of the people remain the same.

Throughout my adult life I have lived in a few different houses, each one I have made a home.  Not by filling it with things but by filling it with love, laughter and memories.  Filling it with the people who mean the most to me.  My door is constantly open for those that I love to come in at any time.  The more the merrier as well, even though I am a bit of an introvert, I love having those I love around me.

Every time I have left a house I have cried. The building itself becomes a part of you, your family and your memories.  I’ve found it even harder when children are involved as well.  I am incredibly sentimental and leaving houses that my children have lived in hurts.  I look at my front door now and only 1 of my 4 children was carried in through that door for the first time as a newborn baby.

Each time I have driven away from a house for the last time I have always reminded myself – it’s bad luck to look back and I have never looked through the rear view mirror.

One of my first posts was about home for my boys and how they have two but they never refer to either as home. Does this mean that their memories and thoughts on “home” will be so much different to mine? I hope not.

In my current house, when my boys aren’t here, it feels empty and it doesn’t feel the same.  I am slowly learning how to turn this house into a home when they are not here but that’s still a concept I am getting used to, not having my children asleep in their beds at home every night and what to do to make it feel like home when they are not here.

I guess that is what home is to me, it’s not a structure and it’s not material things.  It’s a place where everyone I love can gather, it’s a place where the boys and I spend the majority of our time making memories and right now that’s my lovely little house on the edge of suburbia in Adelaide, South Australia.

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So, what do you think?  What or where is home to you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 Comments

  • This was an amazing panel to be a part of – and such a deeply intimate topic. Reading everyone’s responses was so interesting- and it brought me pure joy! Each person has an individual story, and that story changes our perception on the whole world – I love to see it so up close through this series! Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

  • I grew up in a broken home. Not just a little broken but seriously smashed to bits with abuse of all kinds. I did not have a strong connection with what it meant to have a home for many years. After I had four children in five and a half years my focus was completely on doing my best for them and being vigilant in keeping them free from abuse. Sadly I failed because I could not be there twenty four seven and the person I thought I could trust caused me more pain than I remembered from my childhood home. After the divorce and a lot of counseling for my children and myself I was slowly figuring out that home meant giving them love, making sure they had what they needed and surprising them with something they want sometimes. As life continued I went through three more divorces before I stopped and took a good hard look at myself and my life. Counseling help me understand my choices and make changes but most of all my heavenly father showed me he had been with me every step of the way and I had been to afraid to listen, trust and understand. Today I am grateful that I have a wonderful husband who knows and understands all that my children and I have been through and he has helped all of us see how special we are. He has helped me to build a home where I not only feel safe but I have no fear of being me because he loves me scars and all. My family, mom, siblings, children and grandchildren live a thousand miles away but when I go back I now have safe places to call home there as well. My children are still teaching me that are hearts carry our love, our hope and our courage and that it is with in our treats that we find all we need to be home. I hope I can pass that lesson onto my grandchildren.

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