Sunday, April 17, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is: A Eulogy

image via

I make a living decorating houses.  I live it and breathe it.  I attempt to write about it here and share my passion for it with you. 
But sometimes life reminds me that decorating and design is an underpinning to something bigger and more important. 
And that is Home. 

Home is where you came from.  It is the springboard for your life.  It is the place you will always remember all your days.  You will forever walk through its rooms, even if physically it is long gone.  You will remember its sights, sounds, and smells.  You will see it in your dreams always.

Last week my dear mother-in-law passed away.  She is at peace now I believe.  Now we have only memories of her and the home that she made for her family.  It was a place I became a part of when I was seventeen years old, before we were married.  My earliest memories are of the immediate sense of warmth and welcome I felt the first time I walked through the door.  Home-cooked Southern food was always on the stove and warm welcomes and hugs waited for me.  I knew I had found my second family for life. The sounds of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren rang through the rooms. 

Yes, beauty and order speak to me.  I have longed for them since I was a child.  But the thing that lives most in my heart and mind are memories of those intangible qualities that make a house a home. And those who make them happen.

In Memoriam
Joyce Jewell  Raley
July 19, 1930-March 31, 2011


Jackie said...

I saw your post on Facebook. What a lovely dedication to your mother-in-law! May she rest in His arms!

TSL @ Living In Art said...

Carol, this was so beautifully written, my heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Much love to you all.

Linda Hutchinson said...

I can't agree more. What a beautiful and loving post. Blessings to you and your family and may God's light shine forever on your precious Joyce.

Mona Thompson said...

What a beautiful tribute to I'm sure a very special woman. I agree with every word you shared about the feelings of "home". I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. Mona

Tallulah Eulallie said...

Your post has moved me to tears. I am so glad that you will have all those beautiful memories to sustain you through the times ahead. What a special woman she must have been.

Daima said...

Carol that was so beautiful. I absolutely love it. You were lucky to have such a wonderful second family. And I am so sorry for your family's loss. But what you mentioned about homes staying with you even after they are long gone is so true. I was back home in Rhea County this past weekend and I was talking about how even after 10 years, that still feels like home to me! The feeling of home you create as a Decorator is so much more important than what paint color you put on the wall, or what end table sits beside the couch. You create a canvas for memories!

peggy braswell said...

So beautifully written+a joyful dedication to Joyce. Sorry for your

Southern Chateau said...

Thanks to you all for your kind words. And thanks for reading.

The French Hutch said...

hi Carol, I'm so sorry for your family's loss of your MIL. What a touching tribute you wrote, from the heart

The French Hutch

Southern Chateau said...

Thanks Emily. It means a lot for my friends to care.