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The daughter came home the other night in much less than her normal jovial mood. She had had one of “those days.” Things  at college had not gone well for her. Inquiries were made as to the reason or reasons why she should be at such a level of despondency. She told the tale of car problems and hassles with fellow nursing students and one particularly obstinate professor. Then she boiled all her day down to one statement: “I came home as quick as I could because this is the one place where the people have to love me.“

That really sums it all up, doesn’t it? Home. People HAVE to love you there. No matter how bad the day goes, the people at home are required to love you (It may be a state law).  Home is where everything is where it’s supposed to be. Mom is the best cook on the planet. Dad can fix dang near anything or knows somebody else who can. Big brother will rough up the villain at school. Little brother will get away with anything up to and including homicide.  Sister is, well, she’s sister.  She is from birth intended to be tormented and bothered to her wits end but only by the brother (s). Anybody outside the family says even as much as an ill-spoken word to her risks disappearing for all eternity. It has been thus from the dawn of time.

We would not have it any other way. Home is where you go for good and bad news. Mom and Dad will take pictures of you and your prom date in the front hallway. All the kids will learn to drive in the same car and then throw a fit when Dad wants to get rid of the now battered beater. “It’s family!! You can’t!” Home is where you’ll try to sneak into unnoticed when you get home after curfew, all the while knowing full well Dad will wake up regardless of how quiet you try to be (usually because the beloved “old beater”  has betrayed you). Home is where you go when the days don’t go well. It’s where you go to gather and give strength. It’s where you want and need to be. It’s stability. Continuity. It’s an anchor. It’s laughter and tears and required love.  May it always be thus.

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