“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” ~ Oliver Wendall Holmes
Before I go into the story of this post, I want to say thank you again to all of you. Today, is a new day and after a few days of needing to collect myself, I am feeling stronger again and ready to face the road we are traveling. As you may have guessed from my posts last week, it was a rough week on so many levels. My spirit was fragile but each time I came here to this blog, or checked my email, voicemail or text messages, it seems there was someone with comforting words, a supportive quote or sentiment and I felt the love that was being offered to me so unconditionally. Even in my fragile state, I knew it was ok to be fragile for I was being held up by all of you. By my family, friends and now virtual family, so for that I am eternally grateful. Coming here, is like coming home.
After Wednesday’s appointment, which was riddled with words like Autism ( – Q), CP or Cerebral Palsy (- E), Therapy (- Both), EIP/Early Intervention Programs (- Both), CCS/California Children’s Services (- E), Sensory Disintegration prescriptions (- Q), and Physical Therapy Equipment for E, I felt like someone in a TV commercial, removed from my own body as I watched the words float about my head in a giant word balloon that I could not make sense of. I was officially overwhelmed. What to do next? Who to call? In what order? What would be the financial impact? How to process it all? I was grappling unsuccessfully with my emotions. To make sense of everything, I tried to take action with my heavy heart. I called a family meeting with E’s therapists, called her Doctors, inquired about EIPs for both Q and E. Thought about all Q’s coping mechanisms and tried to reconcile if I do in fact think he may be on the Autism Spectrum. All the while, trying to work and put on a somewhat happy face for those around me. Although this particular scenario was more extreme for me, I remember feeling some of this type of emotion when I started IVF. All the medical terms, medicines, ultrasounds, bloodwork all housed in a highly emotional situation where the outcome was of extreme importance. Everything swirling, feeling overwhelmed and not quite sure what to do next.
As the weekend approached, I had previously planned to be in San Francisco for a good friend’s Habitat for Humanity build that she was sponsoring, and so in an effort to maximize my time there, I had planned a couple of meetings with my boss. With everything going on, my heart didn’t really want to go, but I had committed to both the companies we were meeting with and my friend who now lives across the country and I miss dearly, so off to San Francisco I went. After our meetings on Friday, I went back to my hotel room where I sat by myself, both of which were slightly shocking to my system. I haven’t been all alone in a hotel room where I wasn’t trying to figure out how to get on the next plane home in quite a long time. So to be alone and in a quiet place was both therapeutic and a little scary. But then, I checked the blog and there you all were. I was still home.
On Saturday morning, the sun was shining in San Francisco and since I am now on E’s schedule that seems to involve waking at 3:45 am, I was rearing to go by the time I got up at 6:30 am. I pulled back my curtains and looked out at the city below me. It was quiet and peaceful and the only person out was a homeless man who was walking slowly down the block. I thought about him as he walked, about what it must be like for him and so many others in a city that often provides its residents with chilly wet weather as a reminder that while beautiful, she can be a bit harsh. To wake each day with no roof over your head and nowhere to call home. Were there people who loved him, wondered where he was, a place where he could go that would warm his heart?
3 hours later, I sat on the roof of a 4 story, multifamily dwelling that would become a home to 36 families in Daly City. It was warm out and as I drove nails into the roof, I felt great satisfaction in working on the roof of what would be a home for so many families. Suddenly, as I sat up there, talking with the other lovely people who came out to volunteer, I started to feel better, lighter, grateful. For even though things for our family are moving into a bit of a new phase, nothing is really different and all the while we are going through this, we have a roof over our head and a place to call home. And even more meaningful, we have a place in our hearts to call home. For the people who love us, try to comfort us with their words and actions, and for those that simply think of us they give us a place to call home. A metaphorical roof over our heads and a foundation to stand on. We have all had our challenges, job loss, conception issues, parenting issues, child issues, sick parents, children, friends, grandparents. In our state of sometimes being overwhelmed by the circumstances we forget about the roof over our head both literal and metaphorical. If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance you are not homeless and you have someone somewhere who loves you and will be your roof, your foundation and place to call home if and when you need it. Today is good day when you get home to look up at your ceiling and be grateful. To look at your cell phone and be grateful. Somewhere in the phone is someone who wants you to call or email for when you are both happy and sad and it’s only up to you whether you pick up the phone. These are the places that no matter where your feet may take you, your heart can be your home. To be grateful for this feeling of home, can make today ‘yournewfavoriteday’. I know being home with you today here at ‘mynewfavoriteday’ has helped to make this mine.
For those that may not feel like they have this metaphorical home, you are welcome to join me here, share a story and let the love and inspiration from people’s comments envelope you in the same way they have me.