Home, to me, is not necessarily a house (not any more at least), but more so a town. Specifically the town I’ve lived in for twenty-six years of my thirty-one years. Home is the high school and the courthouse square on block up. Home is the parade every Forth of July and for the High School Homecoming. Home is the coffee shop and bars with people who know me when I walk in. Home is the red brick, steeple building two blocks away. My family.
My Dad always said you have two families the one you are born into (and have no control over) and the one you choose – your community.
Community is the people who have known you since the day you were born and taught you since before you could walk.
The people who coordinate to send cards and pictures so that even when you’re in a depressing situation you still have bright moments in your day.
The people who give you a place to sing, to act, to belong because doing these things is as much a part of who you are and make you whole as is breathing.
The people who show up day after day with food so that cooking is not necessary when your father dies suddenly and your family is having difficulty functioning.
The people who coordinate in a moments notice, to make sure there is around the clock help for your sixty year old mother all of the sudden at the house alone with you days old baby and your seventeen month old when you are back in the hospital with an infection.
The people who love your children without question, not only because they are wonderful (and very easy to love) but also simply because they are yours.
The people who love you no matter what you do, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter where you go or how long you are lost.
The people who teach you that being “lost” does not mean you are not good enough but instead just means you are human.
The people who welcome you back with open arms, whether from rock bottom or top of the world, whenever you make your way home.
Community is family. Community is home. For me Community is a church.