The night before my Mom passed away, my sister and I spent the night at her bedside. Mom was on hospice care and she had slipped into a coma, my sister Diane pulled a chair up close to the side of the bed, and I curled up at the foot of the bed. Diane and I were talking, and I remember laying my head next to Mom's legs, and I remember how warm she felt, and I remember closing my eyes and the thoughts coming into my head were This feels safe, and, I'm home, I really did feel so at home, and I remember thinking I never want this feeling to end, I want this moment to go on and on, and then I fell asleep, and I really slept so peacefully for a few hours. When I woke up Diane said that I fell asleep in no time flat, she said one minute we were having a conversation and the next minute she was talking to herself and I was off in dreamland. And Diane said that I was sleeping so soundly that she kept checking both my Mom and myself to see if we were both still breathing.
I laughed when she told me that, and I laugh every time I think of it.
But mostly I think about how at home I felt curled up at the foot of my mother's deathbed. It felt so right, and it felt so comfortable, and I felt so at peace. I'm amazed that as my mother's life was ebbing away I was sleeping soundly and peacefully. I was in a Hospice Care Unit, but the fact that I was with my Mom I was home.
There were no more desperate pleas made to God for miracles or more time, no pleading with my Mom to stay, there were no requests made to her to please keep breathing. Just peaceful last moments spent with my Mom as she left my life.
A year-and-a-half later my Dad was on hospice care for four months before he passed, and every time I walked into his room for a visit, I got that same feeling of 'I'm home'. I had the same peaceful feeling sitting with my sisters and my niece in Dad's final hours too. My Dad's life was fading away but his love was not. My parents were the two people that loved me unconditionally all my life. Loved unconditionally, that's safe, that's peace, that's home.
And I started to think of the other places and times in my life that I've felt at home, the sights and the sounds that are home to me.
A sleeping baby is home. Small arms reaching around my neck for a hug, that's home. The scent of incense, the aroma of coffee, the smell of an iron heating up, laundry hung out to dry, the beach, yellow dandelions on a green lawn, bustling New York City, hiking mountain trails, the smell of leaves burning, Easter Lilies and Hyacinth, Church, hand-crocheted doilies, rocking chairs, Grandma's chocolate chip cookies, the Kindergarten classes I worked in and the teacher I worked with, laughing with family and friends, crying with family and friends, the sights and sounds of Thanksgiving and Christmas, lying wrapped in my husband's arms, these are all home to me.
These are some of the memories, some of the times, places, sights, and sounds that make me feel safest, that make me feel peaceful, that make me aware of God's Presence in my life, that make me feel at home.
What makes you feel at home?
2 weeks ago