Home is LOVE!

October 28, 2019


My father in law passed away last night.

It was so peaceful and beautiful.

I haven’t talked much about his illness because it’s not my story to tell, but I need to talk about it now.

Willie’s dad, Terry, has been fighting cancer for as long as I’ve known him. It started 15 years ago with prostate cancer that had metastasized to the lungs. He had one lung removed and later, a portion of the remaining lung. It’s always amazed us all that he continued to fight and thrive on only a portion of one lung without every needing oxygen.

He has fought metastatic prostate cancer ever since. We got the news that there were no further treatment options for him at the same time that Willie relapsed. The combination of blows felt too heavy to manage at first. Over the days that followed, our prayers changed from pleas for healing to requests that Terry be sustained long enough for us to be home with him one more time.

And our prayers were answered!

Willie has been healing and gaining strength and we were able to come home last Tuesday. There is no better feeling than being home after a month in the hospital, but it doesn’t come without adjustments. We are learning how to navigate our new normal, and with our son in the mix it can be a bit bumpy at times; but there is no better challenge to figure out!

The second day home was really rough for me. Our son has been acting out and trying to establish his place. He is nervous we will leave him again and continues to push boundaries then ask if I am going to take dad back to the doctor and leave him. It’s heartbreaking and requires A LOT of patience. I felt out of place in my own home and wasn’t sure where I fit between caregiving and motherhood. I also felt frustrated, angry and thought I was a really bad mom who couldn’t control her child.

These feelings were NOT serving me and I was short with Willie and Beau. I took a quiet moment to investigate my thoughts and the story I was telling myself. I discovered a dialogue that told me my house didn’t feel like my home and that brought up a curious question: What is home?

Apparently, my brain defined “Home” as the things that fill my house and the status of my child’s behavior. My brain thought “Home” was the state I had left everything when we went to the hospital and it was feeling lost since that no longer exists. My brain was being so silly!

I know it’s cliché, but home is truly where the heart is.

Home is LOVE!

It’s not a place or an item or even combination of people. It’s just simply: LOVE!

When I CHOSE to think negative thoughts about myself and my child I stepped outside of LOVE, and therefore left my home.

I chose that.

There was nothing outside of me that provoked that. Even my child’s behavior can’t make me leave my home of love. Only I can do that when I choose to think icky thoughts that move me out the front door of love, and into the junkyard full of garbage feelings.

This realization is the epitome of what I have been learning since Willie’s relapse in August. There is nothing in this world more powerful than love and the only thing that separates me from loving God and others is my thoughts.

As a household, we are now deeply united in this force. We want everyone in our lives to know how much we love them and that this divine love comes from God and his son Jesus Christ. HE is the source of our love, strength and support.

I saw that love in action last night as we sat at my father in law’s bedside. We knew he wouldn’t be with us long and had an opportunity as a family to pray and express deep and abiding LOVE for him and the blessing we had to be together with him. It was a beautiful moment and so peaceful as he left us and moved on to his heavenly home.

I can’t even imagine the LOVE that he is now feeling in that home.

Despite the uncertainty of our future and the current sadness we feel, I now understand that I will always be home when I choose to stay rooted in love and committed to sharing that love with everyone I encounter.

Home is love.

There’s no place like home!