I always get excited when I see my mom’s name appearing on my screen, not that I ever get a word in but she always keep me updated as to what’s happening with the family, neighbours and everyone at home. I love hearing her voice and listening to her stories as it makes me feel less lonely and far away from her. This call however was different, there was no emotion in her voice when she told me that her house burned down. At first I thought it was some cruel joke, then I started crying, I couldn’t even utter a word, couldn’t ask her if she’s okay…and she comforted me, told me that it will be okay. The same woman who watched everything she’s ever owned go down it flames, comforted me as she always do, like I lost everything and not her.
This was the one place that my entire family called home, where all the kids and grandkids were raised by granny and mommy, where happy memories and love reigned, where you could escape to when your soul is in dire need of peace…that was our home. My mom kept every single certificate I ever got in school, from primary to high school, she had actual photo albums with our most embarrassing pictures, oh how we had a laugh every time we saw it…that was our home.A place where we learned the hard way to never swear, ever, where we learned to respect our elders, love our neighbours regardless of who they are and what they did, where we learned that punishment for wrongdoings were painful but we could have a laugh about it afterwards, a place where love reigned supreme…that was our home. It was the one place that reunited our family as we all had amazing memories of our time there, where the good always outweighed the bad, where love always healed you…that was our home. Where we were kids and in no rush to grow up, where we were poor but rich in the love that we’ve received, a place that we often wish we could go back to. A place so genuine that when you leave there, you won’t fit in anywhere else…that was our home.
The road to recovery is long and hard. When you uproot a young plant, it has a fair chance of survival but when you do the same to a tree that’s been rooted there for years, it’s a whole different story. How do you even start over at the age of 60+? My mom is left with only the clothes on her back, nothing else. The healing process will be long and hard and I plan to be there every step of the way. For the first time in over 11 years we will live in the same house again, we’re both set in our ways but I can adapt, will she? Coming to a place where she doesn’t know her neighbours, where you’re not 100% safe at all times, where you live in an enclosed complex with burglar bars in front of every window and door, how will she adapt? Home represented freedom, fresh air, leaving your door open if you’re just running to the neighbours, a place where you knew everyone and their family history, where you could still depend on each other…that was home. I pray that this ordeal will bring us closer, as a family and strengthen our faith as I believe that God gives His toughest battles to His bravest soldiers, I know my mom is but I’m not sure I’m brave enough…only time will tell.