There is this memory that I have that has given me an immense amount of comfort lately. It's been a gift. It isn't a specific memory that happened, rather a spot in my childhood home where I would spend a lot of time. In the quiet of our living room I would nestle on the couch, shoes off of course since this was our best room, and read or draw or snuggle up to a good afternoon nap. It was ideal for me. I could see the goings on outside since in front of me was our large front window. And I wasn't easily seen by fellow Derr residents because of the short wall that separated the living room from our front hallway. But I could see anyone who entered. Truly it was the best spot in the house to just be without interruption.
Because of the monumental remodel of my mother's home a few years ago, that spot no longer exists. Only in my memory it is alive and telling. And it has much to say to me as a mother. It reminds me of some simple ingredients to happiness. Comfort. Rich, warm, inviting smells. Somebody's favorite food. Laughter. Giggles. Occasionally staying up late just to be together. Forgiveness. Long hugs. Saying "I love you" again and again. Peaceful music. Dancing in the kitchen. Working side by side. Talking. Holding hands. And love. So much love.
No huge home necessary. Fancy things not required. Just us appreciating what we have, giving what we can, and loving each other immensely.
I reflect back on our family situation at the time this memory is most strong. It was not a time without struggle. This is not a mere yearning for easier days without pain or responsibility. We were fighting a losing battle with cancer yet this quiet enemy made us closer. We made each moment count for we knew, yet again, one of our own would be called home soon. I stayed home a lot during that time. My sister took a million pictures and began the tradition of a family slide show each Christmas. Our family turned inward and we set our priorities on hearth and home. A lesson that can be easily forgotten.
So I allow myself to bathe in this memory of warm, glowing incandescent light, the smell of the wood burning fire, the sounds of a scratchy record player playing White Christmas by the Tab Choir. I smile and again remember the simple ingredients for happiness. I remember to turn to hearth and home.