“I’m going home”. Whatever the occasion, whatever the reason, whoever you are with, whatever the time and place – eventually you will be saying this phrase “I’m going home”. There is something comforting and reassuring in those words which evoke warmth and closeness that can mean so many different things to so many different people. A child tired after an exhausting day at school, coming home would mean refuge under the soft covers of one’s bed. To a soldier battle-weary and scarred, it would mean the loving arms of wife and children and the sweet aroma of home cooking. To a prodigal son or daughter, it would mean a parent’s forgiveness and a new life. To a 'balikbayan' (returnee after several years working abroad), it would mean the culmination of several years of backbreaking work and sacrifice for family and income. Home is the only place you know you will be unconditionally loved and accepted. Not only that but also one finds life within running the full gamut of experiences of major and minor crises – the ups and down of health, success and failure in career, marriage, separation – and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. All make up the package of memories. And this is what you go back to when you say home.
Home is where I first learned to submit my wishes, abide by rules, and consider the rights and needs of others. Where I was told to tidy up my bedroom, do homework, and not take my brother’s toothbrush or pair of socks; where I brought home a stray puppy and mom allowed me to keep it; where I was allowed honest mistakes and was given room for self-expression. Home is where I got acquainted with tradition. Celebrations for every milestone experienced by each family member were enjoyed and shared repeatedly through the years. The home I grew up in had those things in place and almost everything else needed for a nurturing environment. I learned well that with freedom comes a corresponding responsibility and that faith makes the true prayer. Well, even if it may have lacked in some as in other homes, I suppose, yet that, too, has become part of me-- imperfect indeed but precious still.
Yet a home is the sweetest imperfection I don’t mind living with. I don’t mind a few spaghetti-and-fries spills on the floor as I see my kids’ happy faces as they gobble up every bit on their plates with gusto; nor when their cat pees on my favorite blouse because later I would have small sorry arms all over me begging not to be mad; nor when my birthday has to wait another day because tonight and the following nights thereafter he has to work overtime for Junior’s special camp. Sometimes tempers flare, feelings get hurt, things are lost, money runs short, and something unexpected just pops up suddenly and succeed to upset the day. Often I have to deal with disappointments, frustrations, failed expectations, and a few nights crying in my pillow. Other times it would be their own battles with their own set of woes and troubles. But in all these, we find ourselves comforting, sharing, soothing, and consoling one another. This is the place where every person, young and old, matters – where every tear, laughter, struggle, and achievement is shared, comforted, cheered. Here where love and family reigns-- the heart rules. This is my imperfect world -- but home to me because Home is certainly where the heart is.
posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 3:15 PM