Houses are interesting things. You can look at them from the outside and plainly see if they are for purely show or if there is a family that resides within. Sometimes you can even see that a family lives inside. Houses are the shelter that we build for comfort and security. Houses keep us warm and dry. There are houses all over the world.
Houses are fine structures. They give what is a basic need to each human. To me, there is a difference between a house and a home. For many years in San Diego I lived in a house. It was a good enough house. It was a fine place to raise our daughters and to live. I have fond memories of the house, but, I never felt like it was a real home. There was always something lacking. It puzzled me and it still does. We still own the house and it still causes me to wonder about it. I know that it was home to my daughters growing up, and I do cherish those memories of my beautiful girls.
The house we recently moved into has been a house. There is actually nothing wrong with it, but it still feels like a house to me. Well, I should clarify and say, it is still mostly a house to me.
A couple of days ago the house started to change. The rough, stern edges started wearing a bit and I smile a little easier inside now. What precipitated this change? A visit from some family.
We have had friends stop over for a visit. They come in and visit for a bit. They have looked around and said they like this place. This is good, but not enough to change my thinking.
Last Thursday I received a call. It was from a cousin of mine. This cousin is 9 years my senior. He and his sister were always the cousins that my sisters and I loved dearly. He played basketball for a local high school and his room was filled with trophies and photos of teams. He always wore his Letterman jacket and bounced basketballs in the house, much to my aunt’s chagrin. He has a quick smile and an easy sense of humor. His sister was a cheerleader and her room had pom- poms hanging in it. There were grown up girl things in her room, posters and make up and wonderful formals and clothes. They were our favorite cousins.
Through the years I have kept in contact with both of them and their spouses. They are still my favorite cousins. So, when I received a call this past week, I was thrilled.
He and his wife were travelling and needed a place for a stop over on their way home. Sunday evening they arrived. We grilled outside and had a wonderful dinner around the kitchen table. No thought of using the dining room table at all. Cousins don’t eat in the dining room. So, we sat around the kitchen table, eating, remembering, laughing. We shared stories, all four of us. We talked until we were tired. It was wonderful.
Monday morning we all woke up and had a lingering breakfast around the table. They wanted to get home, so we tried to make it short. We all talked fast, trying to get everything in before they left. We had a time of prayer together. We all joined hands and prayed for one another. When the prayer was over my cousin and I held hands for another ten minutes, smiling at one another and putting the feeling and the memory deep in our hearts.
They left and somehow this house is starting to echo like a home. Memories were made here and laughter echoes in its rooms. Today the sun shines a bit softer here, and I can look around and remember.
Any time spent with this cousin is indeed special. He has a big heart that loves greatly. He always has. But, his heart doesn’t work and he is waiting for a new heart. His breathing is labored and he moves very slowly. His speech is not clear because of complications he has experienced in this journey of waiting for a new heart. I know that each time I am fortunate enough to see him, it may be my last. I cherish the time and the laughter I have with him. I am thankful that he was the one who made the first memory moment in our house. He has helped it start to become a home.
Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~ Gail Lumet Buckley
Thanks for stopping by, DAF