3rd Place Adult Winner

March 31, 2015

Our third place winner, Valerie Person, gives a detailed and emotional account of her dynamic definition of home. As a daughter, mother, and grandmother she has experienced different experiencse in her life that have shaped her descriptive meaning of what home is to her.

Valerie Person_Swan Gray_Dynise Coogler 3

Valerie Person (left) seen accepting her 3rd place award with fellow essay finalists.

Home is Where the Heart Is
A home is a special place to have, because there is love. I feel so peaceful and loved just to sit in my home and read a book, watch TV, and sit at my computer enjoying the quietness…. My life has not been all that good. I lost my way, my children, grandchildren, family and my home. I was addicted to drugs for years and had nowhere to live. I thank God for delivering me.

While living with my sons we had good times when I was not doing drugs. They did not have everything they wanted, but they did not go without on the holidays either. I still cooked during those times and the love was still there, but in their eyes and heart, they were hurting. Sometimes I did not know how to feel. I knew that we love each other, but to them I had a different way of showing mine. Today I know that there is nothing like having family. Now I have a roof over my head, a warm bed and my family support. I feel safe and comfortable, protected, peaceful and loved. I do not have to worry about where I would sleep anymore. My family comes and celebrates my birthdays and Thanksgiving with me. I feel the love and peace in my heart knowing that I have a second chance to be with them. God’s presence flows through my home. It is a blessing knowing that he will never leave me.

I love when my grandchildren come over on weekends. We pray, sing, read our bibles and let God’s presence come down. We are always doing something together. I just love the smiles on their faces when they walk in and just light up the house. They are as happy to be with me as I am with them. We are always glorifying God. My youngest granddaughter she gets on her knees every time she hears the song “Pray”. In church that is the song that we sing, during prayer time. They love going to church with me. They sing and they love playing the games on TV. The aroma of the food I cook is a wonderful smell in the air all over the house. I teach them how to bake cakes, doughnuts and cupcakes. We have a ball. Sometimes I cannot wait for them to go sleep. They can be a handful but I love them all.

The joy that I have in my home is a glorious feeling. I thank God for all he is doing in my life. My home is where the heart is. It is the love we all share when we come together under one roof. Our love is from the heart and it is unconditional. We have our difficulties, but we still love each other. Having a home is a blessing.

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