There’s that saying, “home is where the heart is.”

I think a lot about home especially as we’ve raised our children. And I’ve always wondered about the best way to make sure our children always have a home, a place in their hearts that anchors them and gives them the strength to grow, to launch, to become who they’re meant to be while always remembering from where they came and how to return.

I look back at my parents’ lives through the depression, World War II, lives lived in France and Ohio and Washington, DC, separated from family and friends in a way we can only imagine today, in a time before texting, email, universal phone coverage, in a time when news didn’t travel anywhere near as fast as today. And for them, what was home? Where did their hearts lay? And how did they stay tethered?

Today, as I often do, I walked in the woods and I thought about my brother, Marc, about his life, his path, about the fact that in his dying days, he called not one of his family. Of all of us, he stayed closest to home, to the house and town we grew up in. He alone walked the same streets we roamed as children, ate in the same restaurants our parents frequented, remained a constant there in the town that our family inhabited for pretty much an entire century. And yet, he was alone. And I wonder, for him what was home? Simply a place? A feeling? Was it a state of mind?

It’s been more than a year and a half since Marc passed on. I still think of him often and of the family he found in his later years, those who saw him daily, knew his battles, accepted and accommodated his faults and appreciated his many and remarkable talents. I suppose it was with them that he found his home. I need only go to their website and find his photo to know that they most certainly miss him as much as I, a piece of their home, like mine, gone.

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