My Dad and Mary’s house, Doswell, Virginia, September 2018

My Dad and Mary’s house, Doswell, Virginia, September 2018

In Reiki One, three weeks ago, I learned that the root chakra represents home. The root chakra is red and located between our legs at the base of our spines. It’s connected to our adrenals. I lost one of my adrenals 17 years ago, the year I got married and bought the house my parents divorced in, where my mother raised me.

The last time I was in my dad’s shed, he offered me his tools. I took a hammer and a plastic sign covered in bird poop and cobwebs that reads HOME. My dad used to put me to sleep with stories about his days wondering, the greyhound buses, the nights on park benches and the moves from one apartment to the next. When he found the house out in the country a new mantra came to him. HOME. I cleaned off the sign and put it in my window under the street sign my friend stole for me in high school, East Valley Drive.

We had our front porch re-tiled this week. The elegant design of the four different patterns of blue and white tiles is a thing of real beauty. It took many years in this house for me to care about it. I’d wanted to live anywhere but here, anywhere but in my skin, with anyone but myself. I don’t know if we will move or if we will stay. The answer to that question changes every time I ask it. But I’m ready to take away the broken parts, to fix what I can, to make it as beautiful as possible while we’re here.

Last week my dad and stepmother accepted a contract on their house out in the country, the house that has been their haven for the past 25 years. This week my stepmother was admitted to the hospital with a collapsed lung, a complication of her advanced stage 4 ovarian cancer. My father has Lewy Body Dementia, a combination of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, paired with hallucinations, and can no longer drive. This week I have been calling eldercare lawyers and real estate agents, helping my parents find and fill out the paperwork for somewhere closer to town. It is a devastating, beautiful honor in the midst of so much upheaval to help them find a smaller, more manageable home.

My dad told me I was doing such a good job being a grown up I should win the Nobel Prize. But that’s just because I could find the way back to Mary’s hospital room from the cafeteria. I have no idea what I’m doing or how to do it, so I’m accepting all the help I can, human and divine.

In the mornings I press my hands between my thighs, holding my hot palms against the soft centers, and I pray. May we all find something we can, at least for a while, call home.

Valley HaggardComment