Since March 17 we have been fortunate to take a trip home. We are “small town” Midwesterners. That’s in quotes because everyone’s definition is different.
It’s not so small that we literally know everyone. But we know a lot of people.
It’s small enough that your high school teachers keep in touch. Small enough that baristas remember you from a sibling. Small enough that it only takes 5 minutes to get from one side of town to the other.
Small enough that church members and friends friends help pay for an airline ticket to get your family there.
I’m talking heart of Illinois. Geographically and in terms of the sweetest love and welcome we’ve ever experienced.
Midwesterners fill your heart and your tummy. And they hug you even if they’ve only heard of you and never met you.
This place will always be our home. It’s where our deepest roots feed our souls. It’s where we will always go to be refreshed, mind, heart, body, and soul.
This trip was very special, besides all that.
My parents closed the door to my childhood home.
I have 8 siblings and each one took the sale in their own way, as we all do with every life event.
My parents have begun the next chapter. They are together, quietly existing with each other in paradise. Hard earned and more than welcome.
As far as the house goes?
“It’s not the home that I loved, but the life that I lived there.”
I will probably always punch in the address when we visit and need directions back to town, because some habits you just can’t break.
But I’m so happy for the new family who lives there. The small children filling that house with noise. Squabbles and laughter.
I’m so happy that the house my great grampa Ralph built will see yet another families memories.
We named this baby before we knew about this trip. We knew who he was before the events that led to the sale of my parents home occurred. But in light of it all, how fitting that he will represent this period of our lives by his name.
Ralph Alistaire Warren