When I was five, Gary's father was my piano teacher. Each Saturday morning he came with his dad and sat in the "big chair" reading a book during my lesson. As a teenager, he spent many hours here enjoying my mother's legendary cooking skills. One day recently Gary told me as he sat in the same chair, that he could almost hear the sounds of Mother in the kitchen preparing yet another Sunday dinner. We can both remember my grandmother at the dining room table telling stories and worrying her handkerchief to shreds while my grandfather slept in the chair in the living room.
Each time I open the closet door and hear the distinctive twang of the metal latch or the drumming of my feet on the basement stairs, the sound resonates in my body and I am back in another time when I felt safe and content in the circle of my mother's love. We have come home not just because this is the place I lived as a child. It is home because we can feel the presence of all the friends and family who have laughed and cried inside these walls. As one of my cousins once said, "this is a magical place" and it is our home.