A house is a building created to provide shelter. A home is where the heart is. My childhood home was a place filled with love, laughter, and many memories until one day our home was filled with tragedy. On Friday, September 29, 2006 my mother became unresponsive which prompted my grandmother to call 911. In the matter of minutes my home became flooded with the sound of sirens and paramedics began rushing my mother the local hospital. That gloomy night, my mother suffered from a severe Traumatic Brain Injury and endured multiple invasive brain surgeries. Once her surgeries were completed, my family and I were distraught as we witnessed her surgeon walking towards us with his head hung low. In an apologetic tone, he approached my grandfather and suggested he begin preparing the family for devastating news. Against all odds, my mother fought through a life-threatening brain injury but not without massive limitations to her lifestyle. Fourteen years later, she remains paralyzed on her right side, permanently wheelchair bound, unable to speak fluently, and suffering from Aphasia.

While my mom was in the hospital for a couple months, my family lived in a small camper in the hospital parking lot as well as our home. During this tragic time, it didn’t matter where we were sleeping at night because we still had each other. Our memories did not fade, our love grew stronger, and despite our circumstances, we still laughed. My home has always been wherever I feel safe and loved by my family. Life isn’t easy but being able to wake up with not only a roof over my head but a home that resembles hope, faith, and love is irreplaceable. I can live without painted walls and hard wood floors, but I cannot live without all the memories represented in my home. Family pictures, furniture from a loved one, a loud floorboard, and laughter is the true definition of a home. My home is where my heart is.