Monday, April 9, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER--H is for Happy Home

Me, MyMama and OURGayla, March 2010.
Special NOTE: if you ever read a comment by Anonymous, that's
most likely MyMama!

Since I completed this same Blogging from A to Z Challenge last year, I wanted to add some flavor for my long-time readers by inviting guests to blog for me. I was excited nervous about asking myMama if she wanted to join in the fun because, since I was a little girl watching her write in spiral notebooks and then hide them away, I have always wanted to read her writing. I imagined Mama was some secret novelist who wrote under a Nom de Plume (I had a very active imagination as a child). When I awoke on Wednesday morning last week, I was completely humbled and honored to see that MyMama had not just agreed to join us in this challenge, but had already written TWO blogs for me to use this month! I couldn't help but cry and cry hard reading this...if you ever wondered why I am the way I am, it's because this woman raised me. I am thrilled beyond measure to welcome to "Aunt J-Me Says So" my hero, my idol, my mother and best friend...

MyDaddy, HerBeloved
H is for Happy Home

Gone are the days of looking at our new home with complete happiness. Of course it could be argued that this home is no longer new. This time last year, my husband and I had lived here almost a year, and it never failed to thrill me as we approached the home of our happiness. It had seemed meant to be. From my chance seeing of a used tractor on my rural route that inspired me to go home and tell my beloved of almost forty years that if we were ever going to build our dream house, now was the time to buy the 4.49 acres he had been eye-balling for a year and the used tractor and get a move on. We started the process then and there and soon owned some really nice swamp land, but, alas, the used tractor was gone. No worries...a brand new John Deere came to live at this happy home after we moved in. 

From Left to Right: JamesII, JamesI, Grandpa
also a James), JamesL, JamesCarolL, and
wee one JamesIII. Where's Jason?
There is a lot to be done before swamp land can become a happy home. But I have the guy who can see that it happens. We call it "The House that all the James-es Plus One Jason Built."  When you can only build on weekends (because the draftsman and building supervisor have day jobs and can only build for you on their days off), it takes a year to finish. My beloved of almost forty years cleared the underbrush and oversaw anything that could be done during the week. Bound to our family by marriage of his daughter to our son, the building supervisor declared that we would wait until September and try to avoid heat stroke. One does not argue with a man who works for free. How could he know that it would start to rain in September and not stop for what felt like a year? How could anyone have foreseen that our old house would sell almost overnight, and we would spend that year of construction living with my recently widowed mother (never doubt that even at eighty years plus a mother's love will take her children back into the nest)?

THERE'S JASON! He's the one hiding holding
up the framing behind MyMama and
HerBeloved, MyDaddy.
We moved in on the first day of spring 2010, and, true to form, there was a snowfall. It was freakish but somehow fitting that my beloved of forty years build a fire in the fireplace that we nearly had to arm wrestle our beloved son into including in the house plans.

So fast forward to the following March (2011). It had been a wonderful year of driving in and getting a surge of joy every time I pulled into our driveway and looked at our happy home. I worked an extra year before retiring so that we could get it finished and not have to finance any more than was necessary. It truly was one of the happiest most satisfying years of my life capped off by retirement on December 31, 2010. 
Then on March 19, 2011, we lost our oldest child. Over the past year, I noticed that driving up to the house no longer held the extra joy it did before. Happiness is not gone, but it is altered by the knowledge that someone who made my total happiness possible has left. Now when one of my two other children drive away from our happy home, my heart breaks a little with the knowledge that the last time I saw HER, she was driving away from us and it turned into forever. 


  1. Of course, your home is still "new"! It's all a matter of perspective. I still think of our kitchen floor as being "new" because I can still remember the day my husband laid it as though it were yesterday. But then, if I think about it a little more, I remember that our children were still ... children ... when he laid it, and that "new" floor was actually laid almost forty years ago. Phooey. I say, as long as you're still enjoying something and looking at it with eyes of appreciation, it's still "new". I am so sorry about losing your child, though. We never know when any given good-bye will be our last, do we? That has to be rough. Guess we should be more aware of seeing our loved ones as though they were "new", too... enjoying them, and looking at THEM with eyes of appreciation.

  2. Oh. Oh. I don't even know what to say. Your mother's writing - it is so eloquent and lovely and LIVELY. I was so completely taken aback at the ending. I know this loss, and it is the most unbearable. I wish your family peace - and maybe, just maybe, that is what your parents' "home" is meant to provide now, giving all a "new" perspective.

  3. What a beautiful post :) Your mother writes just lovely.

  4. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I love your writing...and not just because it's a good read but also because of what it represents; a happy, supportive family How wonderful is that.

    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (around #862 on A to Z list)