Friday, March 24, 2017

#SOL17: Home

(M.A. Reilly, 2016)

I know/there are days/when the only thing/more brave than leaving /this house/is coming back to it. -Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief


I love my home.

This house was new when we moved here--not yet a home. During the last 15 years, we made every crack, every chipped paint, ever scratch on the wooden floors.

We leave marks in life--transforming wood and siding; pipes and soffits from house to home.


Everywhere I look I can see Rob, even among the new things he never knew--such as the kitchen table Devon and I bought after Rob died. I imagine Rob saying, Finally and I laughing. He grew to hate the round oak table we had for 14 years and wanted a change.

Now the table is gone. Devon and I rolled it out of the front door, placing on the street in early February, 2016 and in the matter of hours it and the four heavy oak chairs were gone.Someone had come along and claimed the set. We needed to make room for the hospital bed that Rob would need when he came home to die.

And thinking of this imagined exchange between Rob and me helps me to conjure my husband's voice--something I find more difficult to do as time passes. I can place him at the table--a cup of coffee before him in the Black Dog Cafe mug he had used for more than a decade. I can see him there and his hair is long, tied back with whatever piece of leather was handy, but I strain to hear him speak.

The sound of his voice is receding.


Home is where I give my heart to craft the work and art I love, to spend an hour each evening having dinner with my son, to remember the too many memories that we have made here between these walls and beyond them.

Love, like life, are matters of the heart.


  1. That dinner hour with Devon...such a special time for both of you.

  2. Not to bring us down, but your beautiful reflection reminds me of the families, and students, who don't have homes, and how that loss of a place to be, and a hub of memories, is so terrible, on so many levels. We're thankful to have our own home, to have shaped its walls into a painting of our family. I wish those in power would care more about those who don't have it. Not holding my breath. So, we do what we can at the local shelter and other places.

  3. Home is what we make of it in so many ways, a corner that holds a special plant that grows as you grow, replacing a table then making your own history while eating there together. In my own journey, I found a new home during the time my husband was ill. I lived far from where my husband was, the city where my work was and where my daughter lived, and this new place seemed to sit there waiting, near to all. I hated the leaving, took a long time saying goodbye to our home of many years, but it was a first step into my new life. My home now still holds my husband's memories of things he made and touched, so he is still here, but just not where he walked. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mary Ann, always poignant and direct to the idea.

  4. That left me speechless, Mary Ann. Thank you for sharing these most intimate moments and feelings with us. Homes are filled with so many emotions.

  5. The markings of your home. Isn't it funny how everything can remind you of Rob. I understand. I also understand not being able to recall a voice. I find it all so fascinating but frightening at the same time. The exchange of table for hospital bed and then the new table where you and your son share moments. So few words-sparse, but oh so powerful.


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