In less than 40 days, my family and I will be leaving our home of 17 years. As I begin to pack my things, I have realized that I’m not as sad as I thought I’d be. My mother tears up just thinking about it, but as I look around I know that home is where the heart is.
I won’t remember the island in the middle of the kitchen where we’ve had breakdowns and arguments. I won’t remember the largeness of the living room that makes a small dispute seem like the world is going to end. I won’t remember the slamming of the doors creating an echo throughout the silent house. I won’t remember the broken shower door that makes it a struggle to shower or take a bath. I won’t remember the tiny details of this house that serve as a reminder that this chapter has come to an end.
I will remember the laughs, the cries, and the relationships we have created in this house. I will remember walking into a full kitchen with family and friends laughing and eating around the island. I will remember how close I feel to everyone on Christmas day as we sit in our large and inviting living room. I will remember the hugs and the forgiveness that happens moments after doors are slammed. I will remember working as a family to fix the shower door. I will remember the people that have made this place home.
As I was growing up in this house, I never thought that this would no longer be our home. I pictured my parents growing old together and having us over for dinner once a week with our own families. I pictured being on my own at this age with my dream job. I pictured a picture-perfect family. But then, everything changed. Some words were said and a lot of words were left unsaid. My father left and I thought I lost all of my chances of having a picture-perfect family. Ever since then, my mother has been working three jobs and killing herself in hopes of keeping what we thought was our dream home.
Now as I look back at everything that has happened in this house, I realize that this isn’t our home anymore. Home was never 73 Iris Circle in Romeoville, Illinois. Home is my mom, my sister, my two brothers, and my dogs. Home is the relationship I’ve been able to build with my dad throughout the years. Home is my friends who will always be my friends no matter where I live. Home is not picture-perfect. I believe home is where the heart is.