Just to set the mood... play this!
Yesterday, when visiting a friend in my old neighborhood, I paused for a couple minutes in front of our old home. It looks pretty much the same even though it’s been sold again and has new owners. It’s been almost 8 years since Gary and I stood in front, and said good-bye to the place where we spent our wedding night, brought home our baby girls, and sat around the table with our little grandchildren. When Gary’s Alzheimer’s progressed to the point where we could no longer maintain our home, we downsized and moved to a condo.
Last night I dreamed about that home of 34 years. Crazy… I dreamed that I walked into the back yard and saw that the koi pond was nearly drained and the fish were flopping around, so I called out to Gary, and he came running from the front yard and got the water up to the normal level. Then I dreamed that the new owner asked me to give a tour and explain the sprinkler system, and how to care for the garden. I loved seeing Gary and his garden so clearly, even if only a dream. I take it as a sweet grace from the Lord to remember.
I guess I still grieve the loss of our home a little. I know for a fact that it was a necessary move, and that no house, no matter how dear, is truly home. You’ve heard, “Home is where your loved ones are.” Or “Home is where the heart is.” I agree with that but it’s even more than that, because, now in my condo for several years, 2 ½ of them without Gary, I am “home” but even THIS home is temporary. The eternal “home” that awaits me, where Gary is now, is truly HOME. Moses said, “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place for all generations.” (Psalm 90:1) And he said that after wandering the wilderness for 40 years, never having a permanent home.
Someday, someone will tear down our old house to make a larger one, or fill in the fish pond, or cut down the big Buckeye tree in the front yard. Owners have every right to do so. If that should happen, and I'm around to know about it, may it remind me that it was never my real home anyway. As I sat there on our street, remembering, I thanked God for so many years of His faithfulness to us in that house. Satisfied, I left, and had a "fantabulous" day (as my friend, Diane, says) with her and my other friend, Lori, as the three of us worked together on Lori's photo albums preserving memories of her own. Life goes on, and so does Joy, Peace and Love.