It has been said that "Home is where the heart is.." But where is home if they tear down the place where your heart is? Not where your heart was, but where it is? Home is gone and a part of my heart is empty. Every since I was two years old, 5000 Monticello Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky (in Newburg!) has been where home was. Yes, I have lived other places. I currently live in Stone Mountain, Georgia with my wife and three children, but even though I try to make this house a home for my wife and kids, we know that it only temporary. We know that God is going to bless us with a new address in the not so distant future. So this place isn't exactly "home" to me.
Home is that place that God gave Mama for us. It's that place with the long driveway that I remember running up and down when I was about three or four. Wow, that driveway seemed to be about a hundred miles long way back then. I remember playing on that driveway with my brother, Butch. I remember that I was wearing those big white shoes that toddlers wore back then. I called them ground stompers! That's because I remember stomping so very hard with every step as I ran up and down that long driveway.
I remember that my white ground stompers weren't so white. One reason for that was because every time my brother Butch would see a bug, like one of those big juicy caterpillars, he would yell out "Bug!!!" And I would come running to the rescue wearing those big ground stompers and would yell "Stand back!!!" Then I would raise my foot and SMASH the caterpillar and all of the caterpillar juice would get on my previously white shoes. Yep, it was nasty, but it was fun being the hero! 😁
Home is that place that is right up the street from the spot on the that sidewalk where I was backed over by that Sealtest milk truck while I was riding Butch's bike down the sidewalk. Home is that place where I learned to love music. Mama would always have the radio on in the mornings when she was helping to get me ready for the day before she went to teach at Seneca High School.
Home is where I learned to play touch football out in the street with the other kids even though I was in a wheelchair. Even though I was one of the last to get picked on a team, I wasn't always the last to get picked, and the best part was that I did get picked!
Home is where I knew all of my neighbors by their first names. Not only did I know the first names of all the kids in my neighborhood, but I knew the first names of their parents, even though I would never call the parents by there first names (unless I was cracking jokes on my friends!)
Home is where I had a home bound instructor to come to teach me in my living room one hour on Tuesdays and one hour on Thursdays. Home is where I learned how to read and write, how to add and subtract because the schools weren't accessible for people like me.
Home is where I would go outside to play and to get away from Mama and all my chores and watch all the pretty girls in the summertime with their hot pants on! It's the place where I met that first girl who thought I was extra special. I met her while hanging out with the guys out in front of the house, out by the "circle." She came to the neighborhood once a year to spend time with her grandmother.
Home is where that girl would always come to spend time with me even though her sister and friends went somewhere else to have fun, this young lady always found her way to my home. Home is where she showed me that I was still cool, even though I was/am different, even though I was/am in a wheelchair.
Home is where she would come just about everyday during the summer, just to hang out with me to braid my hair while I worked on my music or when I wasn't doing anything at all except waiting on her to show up!
Home is where this girl helped me to develop the confidence to go after what I wanted in life no matter what negative things other people had to say. Home is where I learned the power of love and passion, and how to communicate both masterfully.
Home is the place where I learned to make music on Mama's old piano. Home is where I wrote my first songs. Home is where I first wrote songs with Karen, one of the talented girls up the street who could really play the piano very well, but she still could hear the potential in the music that I was making. Her father was a preacher in the church in the neighborhood so her whole family was very talented.
Home is where I built my first recording studio, right there in my room. It's where I learned to be really creative. It's where I first believed that I could make music like Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire. I believed it because that's what they told me when I later met them.
Home is where I would talk on the phone with Larry Graham's mom while we watched the Grammy's, hoping that Larry would win. Home is where all of my autographed posters and pictures were hanging on the walls. Home is where my band rehearsed outside on the porch.
Home is were we would put on little concerts in the backyard and we had people at the front gate selling tickets and someone at the back gate to make sure that no one snuck in without paying!
Home is that place that I left to come to Atlanta to attend DeVry Institute where I earned my degree in Computer Infomation Systems. Even though I settled here in the Atlanta area my heart, my mom and my home was always 5000 Monticello Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky!
But a little more two years ago Mama called me at 5:00am saying that it had been raining very hard for hours and that the house, our home, was flooded. She was confined to the bed and I could hear the fear in her voice as she told me that the water had risen up in her room almost to the level of her mattress!
It wasn’t until six hours later that she was rescued by first responders in boats and removed from our home. After being displaced for a few days Mama end up in a nursing home. She never saw our home again.
Not very long after they tore down our home along with some other homes in that neighborhood because of the flood damage. Now home is gone.
The only photo I have of it is the one in this post. I know that everything that we go through is meant ultimately for our god if we love and serve God, but it still hurts.
Please don’t take what you have for granted no matter how much or how little it is! Appreciate the little things. Appreciate home no matter how grand or modest it may be. It’s true that home is where the heart is.
Now my "real" home is in my heart. My heart still breaks for Mama who when to bed one night in the home that she made and lived in for over half a century and woke up to a disaster that washed her out of our home.
I’m praying fervently for my mom and her peace of mind. Home is were the heart is.