Is Home Truly Where the Heart Is?

​It feels like forever since I’ve blogged and shared what has been on my mind. Life’s struggles force us to hide what we feel and be guarded with what we say. Blogging, although it is so public and out there, is the greatest way to share one’s feelings and decompress. 
Over the last year and a half, I’ve definitely had my fair share of trials and tribulations.  It has strongly affected me that I lost my dad, my hero, and one of my best friends. The plans that we had and the memories that we shared are just so difficult to let go of.
Going through everything and truly thinking out loud I seriously question, where’s home? For as long as I could remember, home was always my hometown of Lansing, Michigan. My city of birth, city where all my siblings were practically born, but also the city where we laid our parents to rest. 
Now I know the home is where the heart is and all that crap, but when you sit down and truly ask yourself; where is home? Is home either of the following:

  • Where you work?
  • Where you live?
  • Where your family resides?
  • Where your parents last visited before they perished?

I guess for me now, I feel homeless in a sense. The city where you once had parents living, is now a city where they’re both simply buried and have nice tombstones to visit and leave gifts and flowers on. Inside that city also lies the childhood home that I could visit when coming back into town, yet it’s no longer home and just a distant memory.
Going back to my original question to myself, what is home? Home is slowly evolving into something so much different than before. As I see it now, home is now any place where I can:

  • Share a laugh
  • It is not a physical location
  • Not a house
  • A state of mind 
  • Being calm and free

In conclusion, home will never be what it was before. I’ve come to accept that and will learn to evolve and accept the good with the bad and be a better person for having done so.

Changes

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Today marks a change not only for me, but for my entire family.  After several months of dealing with my dad’s death, we were put in a situation to sell our childhood home.  I was never quite sure how I would feel about the house being up for sale, but here we stand with a house full of 26 years of memories on the market.

Looking back at when we first moved into the house 26 years ago, I still laugh at how unique our house was. While most people got the usual two story home or single family home, my dad opted for the only house in town that resembled Pizza Hut.  Along with a strong resemblance to Pizza Hut, our house had a consistent Michigan State green paint coating on the exterior from top to bottom.

Moving into the house, our family had just experienced some massive changes.  My mom had just passed away, my dad remarried, and we went from three kids to five kids (twins).  Our family would eventually grow and double in size by adding three more brothers, and three amazing sisters.

Throughout the years, we had some of the greatest moments of our lives in that house.  We had newlyweds, new drivers, new friends, and grandkids for my parents to spoil.  Along with so many great additions, we also had so many great family gatherings and events.

Unfortunately, we’re in a much different spot today.  From losing my mom before we first moved in, we lost our dad and have now all moved on to new homes, new cities, and new beginnings.  I used to always look back at our childhood home and wonder why my dad never sold it and moved on.  Returning home to bury him in November and clean up the house, I’m glad he never sold it.  While I never appreciated everything that we experienced in the house when we all lived together, going back I can’t help but recount and reminisce about all the memories that we had in the house.  While he wasn’t there to yell at me to clean the garage or take out the garbage, the fact that I could go there and remember the times we shared together was priceless.

In conclusion, our house wasn’t the best, and certainly wasn’t what you’d see on HGTV.  However, our childhood home was special, unique, and everything that we needed to grow up in.  We may have lost our dad and moved on from our childhood house, but I’m glad that we got to share 26 years worth of memories in that home.

The Ranch: Reflection

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I recently took a break from my blog to focus on some events that have truly changed my life forever.  The time away has been a mixed bag of sorts, but has given me the time to truly view things in a different light.  While it most certainly wasn’t planned, it was much needed.

Taking a break from blogging, I came across a great show called The Ranch.  The show focuses on a family that is very much separated, yet still a family.  The family of four consists of a husband and wife who are separated, and their two sons who find themselves back at home again.

The show has some great comedic bashing between each character, but also some great life lessons between the comedy.  Along the way the two sons, Colt and Rooster, learn how to grow into men with the help of their mom and dad.  Through good and bad, they learn a lot about themselves, and their parents as well.

Watching the show, I couldn’t help but reflect on similar experiences that my older brother and I had growing up with our dad.  While we weren’t as old as Colt and Rooster, the simple interactions that they had with their dad reminded me so much of what we experienced with my dad.

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There were a few great takeaways that I had while watching the show:

Take Initiative

My dad, just as Beau in the show, wouldn’t always tell you what to do and how to do it. In most cases, he wanted us to take the initiative. While he was hard on us like Beau, he just wanted us to be go getters and be successful.

Work Hard

One thing that Beau was persistent on was hard work. My dad always believed that hard work would always win out. If ever we gave up or doubted ourselves, he’d push us to work harder and make it across the finish line.

Dad’s Love You

Beau was quick to poke fun at Rooster and Colt, but showed them tough love. Just like Beau, my dad loved us but would rarely open up to us like most modern dad’s. He wouldn’t always tell us how he felt, but he would push us hard and reward us after the fact.

In conclusion, The Ranch definitely hit home for me. I could see so much of my brother and dad in the characters. While my dad is resting in heaven, coming across a great show like this helps me reflect and remember how great he was.