It's 9:30 on a Friday night -- I'm sitting at the kitchen table of my parent's house, drinking my 4th cup of warmed up coffee and enjoying the silence. It's been well over a year since I officially moved out on my own and more than 5 since I left for college and yet there's this unmistakable familiarity about being "home." Every tick of the clock, every bang and clatter of the furnace, every blast of the train goes virtually unnoticed for when I walk through that front door, I am home.
It was here where my sister and I would stay up 'til all hours of the night planning our weddings to various members of New Kids on the Block. It was in front of this kitchen door where my mom would line all three of us up to take a picture on the first day of school. It was at this very table where I fell in love with Charles Dickens. It was here where I emptied an entire box of powdered laundry detergent onto myself and blamed it on dandruff. It was here where Kevin Hurta and I would play baseball in the street until our moms would call us in for dinner. It was here where I flushed my glasses down the toilet, forcing my dad to take off the entire thing to fish them out.
As I got older, I wanted to escape from here. It was here where I felt as though no one understood me. It was here where I would sit for hours on end on weekends because I was grounded....again. It was here where I would call my siblings every name in the book and ignore their tears. It was here where my mom and I had knock down, drag out fights and wouldn't speak to each other for days. It was here where I let my anger manifest in broken dishes, broken glass, and broken bones. It was here where my parents drew the line in the sand -- and I chose to cross it.
And yet, it was here where I turned when all else failed. It was here where I would return with my tail between my legs. It was here where I would finally feel safe from a world that had its way with me. It was here where I learned that my God will never fail me. It was at this very kitchen table where I realized that my mother loves me with an inexpressible, unconditional, and boundless love. It was here where I learned how to love. It was here where I decided to trust my faith rather than my feelings. It was here where I chose to align my life with His will. It was here where my parents welcomed their prodigal child home with open arms.
So to some this may be just a simple, run down (though ridiculously over-decorated) ranch on the South Side of Chicago. And it's true -- in its strictest definition this is just a house. But within these walls lay my life's story...a story whose last chapter is yet to be written.