When the time came for Parke and me to get married, I chose to put the word "Home" as the inscription on his wedding ring...it was the one word I knew that showed how I felt about him (as an aside, he chose to put the words "no bologna" in my wedding ring...I am probably the only person in the history of the world to have the word "bologna" on my body at all times).
I was raised in a home so filled with love it was almost sickening, it was the one place in the world I knew I was loved unconditionally. I am one of the lucky ones for whom the word home equals comfort.
After Rip died, I did not want to go home. I could not imagine walking back through the door where I'd waited and hoped and dreamed for this baby. When I told my fears to Parke he said, "You should never be afraid to go home".
And from that horrible day forward I've realized how right he was. Home is the place where I have again found comfort. Home is the place where family and friends will come to you in your darkest moments and make you laugh. Home is where Christmas tree lights and wagging dog tails can ease some of the pain. Home is where I can go after a long, sad day and sit on the couch with someone who knows exactly how I feel. Home is the place where the memory of our baby will live forever, because that is where he is most loved.
Home is the place that will change many times over the course of my life, but it is the place I will never again be afraid to go.