What Makes a Home - January 5, 2021

Each of us leave the home we grew up in at some point and begin the journey to discover who we are.

Posted
January 6, 2021
Hand holding a house.

What Makes a Home - January 5, 2021

Each of us leave the home we grew up in at some point and begin the journey to discover who we are.

Posted
January 6, 2021
JFS Friends –
This past year has given me a lot of time to think about what makes a home because - like so many of us - I have spent much more time there than ever before.
The novelist George Moore said:

“A man [person] travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it. “

Like many of us, this past year has been one where I have missed traveling – in particular I have missed being together with family especially for holidays and other life-cycle events. Interestingly, as I wander through my home and look at the things that I have collected and carried with me over the years – my family is with me every day in my home.
I look at the bedside tables from my grandparents’ home that are on either side of the bed in the guest room, I see the lamp from my grandparents home that I use for reading in the evenings. I can sit at the dining room table from my mother that hosted hundreds of family and friends for Shabbat, holidays and special occasions. When I prepare for Shabbat I use a challah plate and knife that is handed down from my parents’ home. I see the fitting stool from my maternal grandfather’s shoe store and a holiday calendar that my paternal grandparents gave their customers from their grocery store.
Each of us leave the home we grew up in at some point and begin the journey to discover who we are. For some of us the journey will take us far from where we grew up – for others we may end up settling close by to our childhood home. In either case, at some point, we will be faced with the decisions about what we carry forward with us and what we let go.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed:
“There are two things parents should give their children roots and wings. Roots to give them bearing and a sense of belonging, but also wings to help free them from constraints and prejudices and give them other ways to travel (or rather, to fly).”

For me, the objects in my home that have been passed down through the years from my family are what give me roots and remind me where I came from.
Now that there is a vaccine for COVID, we can begin to imagine a time where we will be venturing farther from home and starting to travel more. When that begins to be the case for you, I hope that you will find what the author Wendy Wunder says to be true:

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.”

For our JFS staff, clients, volunteers and visitors we look forward to a time when we can begin to welcome you back to our JFS home and once again be together in person. There are reminders of you everywhere in the building and we continue to gain strength from our connection to you.
Are there special objects in your home that make up part of your “roots” – I would enjoy hearing about them. Please feel free to send me an email and tell me what they are and a little bit about their meaning for you.

Graphic that reads: "Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where they heart's tears can dry at their own pace." Vernon Baker
Take care,
Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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