In the movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy coined the phrase “there’s no place like home” and that’s true. Almost half of my life was spent at my childhood home outside of Ridgetown, a place that is filled with happy memories for me. Sometimes I’ve wished that I could just go back there and walk through the door to find that everything was the same. Whenever I’ve driven by and seen the evidence that children live there I smile because I remember what it was like to be a child there.
Last week I had a service in Highgate and on the way back, something told me to turn down the 7th Concession to make the drive past our old house. And as I drove down the road, I decided that this time I would be bold enough to drive in the laneway and ask the folks who lived there if I could just walk around outside for a bit, but when I got there I seen that the house was empty. To make a long story short, I did get to walk through the door and although everything wasn’t the same, there were some things that were. And as I walked through the house a lot of memories came back to me; the kind of memories that made our house a home. There were three things that I hoped for; to see the wallpaper and to touch the railing that led the way upstairs to my bedroom and to hear the creak of that one step that I tried to avoid when I came home late. There was one awesome thing that made me smile and that was the poem called Desiderata that was written on parchment paper that I got for my birthday one year that Mom hung outside my bedroom door. It ends like this:
“Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be
And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
That day was almost the day that seventeen years ago, my Mom was laid to rest. To have the opportunity to walk through our house again was awesome, but to read what my Mom had tried to teach me was greater than awesome. Why those things happen, I can’t explain, but I’m going to say “Thanks, Mom”.