Friday, August 29, 2014

(Almost) Home

You might say I'm a sucker for signs. Especially those that are painted and a little bit primitive. I have them all around my house.


And, at various points in my life, each sign - with its simple message - has served as a mantra of sorts.

So when it came time to finally cover up an enormous nail hole select the perfect piece to go above our fireplace, I just knew a sign was the way to go.

But, considering all that's happened, what's my mantra now?

Life was good. And then it wasn't.

Don't worry. It'll all be over soon.

I'm kidding. Sort of.

Obviously, I needed something a bit more, um, inspirational, something that wouldn't make guests do a double-take when they entered our home. And, I needed something that said this is our family.

And what worked for us before just doesn't cut it anymore.


So, I spent a weekend tossing around a few ideas (nothing really worth mentioning here) and one in particular just stuck. It was this idea of home and what home should be.

Before all of this, home wasn't half-bad. Sure it was loud and it was messy. You can read more about that here and here. But it was also beautiful because everybody that I loved was right here, within arm's reach.

Without Addie, I'm not sure it'll ever quite get back to the way that it was.

It's home, but it's not.

The noise has resumed. The messes too. In fact, I'm not sure either ever really went away. But, there is a voice missing. There's one less baby to tuck in and kiss goodnight, one less plate at the dinner table. We smile for the camera, but it'll never be quite right.

It'll never be home.

So, we settle for what we have in our almost home. And we realize this place where we live and work and love really isn't our home at all. Never has that been more apparent to me than it is right now.

I could try to put into words exactly what it is I'm talking about, but I'm not going to do that. What I've realized (and I'm really trying to avoid going all Mary Katherine Gallagher on you now) can best be summed up in the song Blessings by Laura Story.

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is
the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

I have a deep-seated need to have my family all good and whole again. And, there is no substitute for that. I do believe things will be good again (they are at times), but I know our lives will never be right until we're Home.

So, until then, we're almost Home.

Plus, that sounds so much better than that it'll all be over soon stuff.

So, about the actual sign.

I contacted Deb from Deb Hrabik Designs and gave her the scoop on what I wanted.. We tossed around a few ideas, traded a few emails. She painted. I waited. And within a couple weeks time it was here. 

What can I say? I. Love. It.

And here's why:

It's beautiful (obviously). It's big. And it's bold.

It says and does everything I wanted it to. It even hides the incredibly large nail hole, so that's a bonus.

But here's the best part: there's a piece of Addie in that sign. 

That, my friends, is Addie's handwriting (and all Deb's idea) taken from a story she had written in fourth grade.

We are well-aware of the huge, gaping hole that's been left in our hearts and our lives, but seeing that little piece of Addie on my wall every day makes me feel like she's saying, "It's OK, mom. You're doing alright. You're almost there."



  1. Jamie - the way you express your journey is a gift. Your words that mix tears and laughs make your blog genuine.
    Such a great idea for your family sentiment. I'm glad to be a part of making this art with heart for your home. Looks great on your mantel!
    Blessings as you keep walking this earth looking forward to the day you see Addie again. Heaven - our true home - trusting what Jesus did for us on the cross.

  2. That's so beautiful! What a great motto for your sweet family :)

  3. Love the sign Jamie. I continue to think of your family and pray for you. I know that until we can finally go Home to our babies that they are watching out for us and want us to continue to serve and make them proud here on earth.

  4. No words. It's beautiful. And Deb Hrabik has the sweetest heart and compassion for others who are hurting. One more day closer to Heaven.

  5. This gave me the chills and was so perfect! Hugs to you.

  6. I got shivers.

  7. Beautiful. Such a nice way to keep Addie so very close to home.

  8. that's perfect, jamie. it always helps to keep our perspective on our eternal home instead of our temporary home. praying for you tonight. ♥ penny