I don’t know how to explain the utter joy a person gets when they finally have their own place to call home: A spot where you can put up little forms of permanence, like photos on the walls, curtains on the windows, soap in the bathroom, a welcome mat in front of your door. Even up putting my own roll of toilet paper gave me a helping of the warm fuzzies (yes I get to be cheesy).
When you don’t have a home of your own, you are constantly on your toes, wondering “Can I leave my purse here?” “Where should I put LB’s toys?” Your car becomes your mothership, where you stash emergency clothes, diapers, toys, Tylenol, food and other necessities. But its not your home, and you can never live there comfortably, especially with a child. You can’t depend on things to be consistent, like your favorite chair being there at the end of the day, or having a place to cook dinner.
When we were living in a tent in Louisiana, I never felt safe, ever. I was always on the lookout for something bad to happen. Sometimes the houses we were helping rebuild looked more appealing than the concrete slab we had to return to at the end of the day. Not having a home is being on the move at all times, remembering that your belongings are few, and that everything else is borrowed, always ready to be returned, never having a permanent resting place.
From a tent, to the upstairs of a gutted house, to our boss’s mansion, to the in-laws’, to a caregivership, to a spider-infested cabin, to a falling-apart, stick-built craphole, to couch surfing for the last 9 months, to a brand-new, never been walked-on, carpeted, holy grail of an apartment, I have finally come home.
For those of you who helped make this possible, I don’t know how to thank you. But please know, it is because of you that I can wake up in my own bed, and give my child a room of her own. Karma has nothing on you 🙂