About Me

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Mom, where's my house?"

This blog started on Easter Sunday visiting the church in Corbin - where Jason had his missionary farewell and Tanya sang this song.   I can't list all of the pivotal and life-changing experiences that took place in this church.  I was visiting there for the blessing of my great-granddaughter, Madelyn Rae.  She is the first great-grandchild just like her mother, Amber Rae, was the first grandchild, and Amber's mother, Tanya Rae, was my first child.  I was sitting in my seat pondering on the cycle of life and watching the rest of my family come into the church. Amber's husband, Rusty, her brothers: Cameron, Alex, Brandon, Austin (Tanya's sons) all tall and grown up.  Amber  is short like her mother who had died in 2008.  I worked to hold the tears back.  This was a joyous occasion but I could not stop thinking about the bitter-sweet memories.

Jason, my  son walked in with his wife, Kelsee, and their daughter Haley.  As usual I felt peace and comfort as I saw them.   They are like anti-anxiety meds to me - really.  Anyhow, he sat down, turned around, and said: "Mom, where's my house?"  For a minute I was speechless which is very unusual for me.  And Jason continued:  "That's where I grew up!  I lived there longer than anywhere else - and it is gone."

Then I remembered that I hadn't told him that the big white 100+ year old house on 3rd Street in Corbin apparently burned down a year or so ago.  It hadn't seemed that important to me.  From my perspective lots of really hard things happened during those years we lived in that house.  I remember the exhaustion I felt as I worked around 60 hours a week, trying to be a good mother to the kids who were teenagers, and caring for my husband, their father, Roger as he struggled to live with Huntington's Disease.  So, I'll be honest, I wasn't too upset to see that the house on 3rd Street was gone.

That Sunday was busy but when I returned home I began to think about Jason's words.  I pictured Jason growing from boy to man in that house on 3rd Street in Corbin, Kentucky.  It was our home during those years - how could I have forgotten?  He participated in sports, scouting (Eagle Scout - proud mom, still), church activities.  He attended school and graduated.  The house was a place for my sisters and their families and my parents to gather for holidays.  He helped care for his father, he hung all of the blinds and all of the wallpaper in that house.   He sneaked out of that house with friends who will always be a part of his life.  He watched his sister, Tanya, marry and have the first grandchild (his first niece!) in Corbin.  He left for college in Idaho when he was 18 but he came back to the house to prepare for a two-year church mission.  He served an honorable mission and again returned to this house on 3rd Street.  When he returned from his mission Tanya, Amber and Cameron were living with me and we had a very full house.  He left in December 1994 when he moved in with his bride, Kelsee, in Morehead, Kentucky never to live in that house again.  But I imagine it was a comfort to see it when he visited Corbin - a symbol of those happy, growing up years.

Tanya and Jason
Clearly late in the 1980's
in Corbin, Kentucky
That old, white house on 3rd Street no longer exists.  Driving down the street it is hard to imagine that there was ever a house there.  But after many hours of remembering, I understand why Jason was so shocked.  If he said it to me again: "Mom, where's my house"   I would say to him "I know.  It's so sad.  It really wasn't  just a house was it - it was our home.  The memories are wonderful but nothing can ever replace it." 

Jason's Eagle Court of Honor
in Corbin, Kentucky  1991

1 comment:

  1. Janice, this is one of the reasons I love Facebook. It has reconnected me with people who were a part of my life. This post is beautiful and made me cry. Now that I am a mom and wife I look at your life completely different. I ALWAYS saw a smiling Janice Purdy and I love you and your family (and mom!). I have even more love, adoration, and respect considering all you had on your plate - all with a big smile on your face! Thank you for your example of faith, and joy in your (sometimes not so joyful) journey. You are beautiful example to me.