As I walk in the porch door the golden chimes hanging on the door jingle, in my mind I think back to when I said, “Hi Mom, I’m home,” of course, there is no one physically there to hear me. It was simply a greeting that I grew accustomed to uttering for so many years and it took me quite a while to get over the mechanical habit after her passing. I knew in time uttering the words would simply fade as my mind gave in to the fact that I was doing something which could be perceived as silly if heard by another living human being.
I drop off the work I am carrying on the kitchen table, hearing in my head her saying “don’t mess up the table,” I pick it up and put it on the desk as I check the answering machine to find it blinking. I hit the machine and it sends out a recorded message from a company wanting to sell me something. In a way that little blinking light is comforting when there is a message from a friend but when that light is still, it sometimes brings a sigh.
I sit on the beige leather couch, kick off my black leather shoes, lean back and look around the living room.
Though years have passed, and I have made it my own space, at times, there are still moments when the house feels empty, although there is furniture from wall-to-wall and each closet is filled; there is an emptiness that just covers me.
“M*A*S*H” is playing on the television and I lose myself in the hilarity of the artistry of Alan Alda and company and for a while the emptiness is filled with a fictional world provided by those characters.
But soon reality must once again set in as I take on some mundane household chore such as sweeping the hardwood floors or dusting the seemingly endless surfaces. Although time has made the desire to do those things a little less high on my priority list, now I do them for me.
When someone has brought the vigor, the juice, the energy to a family’s life and that person leaves, how does one carry on in the wake of their departure?
No matter how strong your faith, no matter how many cards or calls you receive, no matter how many times you find yourself with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, nothing can be done to ease the absence of that life’s energy that is now missing from the house.
It is finally up to you to rebuild a new life’s energy for your home, so when you walk in, you are not enveloped by the quiet emptiness. You must become the energy of the home, so when someone else walks in they find a feeling of warmth and welcome. There must be a way to reach that within oneself to make such a thing possible.
It has been several years since I initially faced these feelings and I charged myself with defining the energy in my home while not taking away loving imprints of the shadows left on each and every room.
With the passage of time, I have been able to change the flow of energy that I feel as I enter the home, focusing now more on my faith to bring the space alive for me.
I know that those of us that are Christians carry within us special warmth given us by our faith in Jesus Christ; and I know that as I do my daily tasks, I work to allow that warmth to permeate what I do and shine out. I lean on Jesus to come with me wherever I go and I know God’s angels are smoothing the way ahead of me and hopefully doing a bit of clean up in my wake.
Perhaps, however, the warmth that God shares with me is not meant for me to transfer to a place like a house or more simply the warmth that each of us brings cannot be seen by us in our own reflection.
We cannot see our own warmth imprinted on a home. Yes, we can see the physical changes we make but others can only see the warmth. So while I initially looked to try to fill the emptiness for myself, in a way I was pouring my attempt for warmth into a bottomless pit that I will never fill. Only God can fill it in His time.
Do I feel warmth today when I walk in the door? Yes, but I realized as I went through the years that God allows me to carry that within me everywhere I go.
Isn’t it wonderful that God’s love is endless and no matter what I pour my inspired energies into as long as this vessel of clay holds out, I can continue sharing His warmth with others and depend on Him to warm my heart, soul, mind and home with His love?
No matter how close or how distant in time you are from the warmth of light shared in your life by a loved one, one only needs to look to the source that provided that warmth that beamed out from within them to touch them again.