[ Divine Signs ]

Home is where the heart is

I have not lived at "home" since 1954. I attended college, married, raised a family of four children and never lived again in the area I still call "home".

My father, now deceased, was a wonderful man, born and raised within 10 miles of where he married and raised my brother and me on the farmland that I called "home". While a child, he attended six years of grade school at Maple Grove School on Highway 52, not far from the farm. He had many humorous tales about his school days that I often related to my children and somehow the old schoolhouse had a prominent place in our history and memories of Dad.

My own family has always heard about how I want to return "home" someday. Even though time and circumstances have dictated that I live hundreds of miles away in another state, I would lament on how “nowhere will ever really feel like home again.”

Last month, two of my children, my husband and I returned to that area. The old farmhouse was gone, the rural school that I had attended was torn down and nowhere could I see the familiar landmarks of the home I desperately needed to revisit. On our way to the airport to return to Alabama, we decided to go past the old school that my Dad had attended to see if it also was gone.

As we drew near to Maple Grove School, I could see it was still standing. Approaching nearer, we could see that it was still the same building, but had been turned into a home for someone. A mailbox stood on the highway and as we got close enough to read, my husband said, "Honey, look at the number on the mailbox.”

The number was 14251 - the same number of our mailbox many states away. The coincidence of the same numbers noting the mail delivery location brought tears to my eyes. Somehow the only thing familiar to me that was still standing bore the identical address number of my present home.

It was a divine sign that gave me peace in the knowledge that home is not just a place, it is what you hold in your heart and memory.

Sandra H.

Foley, AL