Like most kids around here, I grew up in an old house that was filled with love and laughter, sweat and tears.
I can close my eyes and imagine the house as it stood when I was small. Nothing fancy, nothing big, but home.
Recently I heard this song on the radio that brought me to tears and reminded me of the only place I will ever call home.
It’s the place where I learned what faith and love is really made of. What it means to grieve, and what it feels like when you have to leave something and someone you love with all of your heart and soul.
There’s the kitchen where our mama taught us how to cook and preached to us that she didn’t need a dishwasher because God gave her two. Then there was the kitchen table where we used to sit and do our homework.
The living room with the pink petunia walls and burgundy carpet is gone now, but I remember when daddy painted the walls that color. It was amazing because he usually didn’t paint our walls anything but white.
I know that there are nails from the old basketball goal still in the tree out front, and my old dog Dixie is buried underneath the cherry trees they finally cut down.
If you walk around back, you’d see the building that my daddy built and the green chair that he use to sit in when he worked. The chair is gone now, but the memory remains.
I learned what having faith was really all about, when I knelt down next to daddy to pray the day he found out he had cancer, and the meaning of the love the day he passed away in that living room with pink petunia walls surrounded by our family and friends and the presence of God.
If you look closely on one of the old door frames, you will find crooked lines showing how tall we had grown. There’s the dirt road, the old barn, the creek. All of these memories came flooding back to me.
I always said that I’d leave and never come back. Well, I guess I ate my own words because here I am. I’m thankful that I can live in a place where these memories of love can surround me at every turn.
If I could go back to that house and look for one thing, it would be that old rusted green chair of daddy’s. I wouldn’t take it with me, but sit it up next to the building where he would always sit to talk with friends, or to pray. How can you take something from the place where you know it truly belongs?
Maybe this song hits close to home because this past week my dad would have turned 62, or maybe it’s just the memories of the house that built me.
“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me.”
~Miranda Lambert, House that Built Me