John Lander - Grade 9, Chaminade Julienne High School
A Lifehouse is a metaphorical structure built out of and filled with all the choices and experiences (good and bad) that have affected someone’s life and future. (Ironically, the same is often true for their literal house.) Everyone has a Lifehouse. Some people have magnificent mansions, while others have rickety shacks. I’d like to think that I’m building a medium sized house, neither opulent nor bland, with a sturdy foundation.
The foundation of my Lifehouse is filled with a concrete of parental love and guidance, bonded together with faithful religion. Despite this, there are still cracks, formed by the death of my father when I was nine. Over the next year or so, those cracks got worse, much like the cracks on a sidewalk. Most were filled in eventually with the epoxy sealer of counseling and my mother’s remarriage to a wonderful stepdad. However, a few still remain.
The living area of the house is filled with everything surrounding me now: my friends, choices, and burdens all reside here. My good friends are like pictures and nice furniture. I keep them visible, always on my mind, and I’m able to relax or be serious with them. In a secluded room, a crucifix hangs on the wall above a table with a Bible and a Rosary. In another room sits an office desk covered by a mountain range of papers and a computer at the center with an office chair in front. Unfortunately, I spend most of my time here.
The attic of my Lifehouse is full of my future plans, boxed up and stored away to be brought out later. I chose what to store here, both through direct choice and indirect choice, the latter of which sometimes had unforeseen consequences. The boxes will be opened later, and their number is often growing and changing as my plans evolve and increase. Two of the largest boxes are marked “High School” and “College Stuff”. The high school box holds a hoodie bearing my school’s name and logo, as well as a diploma and letter of acceptance to Wright State University. The college box holds a Wright State University alumni jacket and a diploma for a major in mechanical engineering. Other boxes have half-written names on them or are empty, plans not yet realized or considered.
My Lifehouse is sturdy enough to weather most storms, and I’m still adding to it. It will be with me until I die, and then my kin will come and collect my belongings. I hope, however, that my house will stand as an inspiration to others, to the world, and be preserved as long as the memory of me sustains. The memory of a man who left the world better than he found it, who was nice to all, and, most importantly, lived for God and was an instrument in His plan.