I can't tell you how many store rewards cards I have had to restart because I can't remember the zip code or phone number they are under. I have had five addresses in the past (not even) three years. At times, I have to stop and think or look up the address to the house that we still own in the Fort Campbell area. I can't remember the name of the subdivision - Glenellen something. I couldn't tell you the address from our apartment in Georgia. I don't remember the complex's name. It was way off exit ten. WAY off. Thats about all I have retained. I remember every nook and cranny of the apartment. I remember our wonderful neighbors (even if they were all Texans). I remember the playground, the drive from the interstate to there. I even remember who handled the paperwork to sign the lease but for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the place - much less the address. I can't remember the address for the temporary apartment we lived in before C deployed from Carson. No idea. None. Can't even remember the zip code.
It's a problem. Five places in just over two-and-a-half years.
Where I grew up people had the same addresses for forever. I used to know so many of my friends' by heart but that has started to diminish because I have two many numbers jumbled up in my head. But they (their parents) are in the same houses they have always been in. People don't leave. People don't move. People add on or (like my parents) only move a few blocks away, down the street, or around the corner to a bigger house. An old friend of mine literally moved next door.
I have been incredibly homesick. I love Colorado. It's beautiful. Everything seems so healthy, clean. The air is amazing. There's no humidity. I love our new unit (CAV and all). I love the friends I have made. I love my fellow volunteers. I know I will learn much from the more seasoned spouses around me. We asked to come here and I am glad we did.
But I miss the South. I miss my family. I miss so many of my friends - both military and civilian. One of my very good friends and his wife had their first baby just over a week ago. I didn't get to make it to her shower. I didn't get to go see that precious little girl while she was in the hospital. I don't know when I will finally be able to meet her and hold her. Another good friend is pregnant with a child that she has tried for and hoped for for a long time. She has two precious angels in heaven watching over this growing baby. I will never see her pregnant - only in pictures. I won't be at her baby showers. I don't know when I will meet that precious, precious baby either. Two of our dearest friends in Georgia ... I have never met their sweet CC. She is just over a year old now. We missed her birthday. C and I have never met his only nephew on his side - his only brother's son.
He turned one in October.
I fear that my sister's two youngests will never really know me. That I am going to be "that aunt" that shows up from time to time ... briefly ... that they won't really know me any other way.
I haven't seen my older brother in what seems like a lifetime. I saw him for a few hours sometime in the last year. He lives in New York. Our 'schedules' (ha, yeah right, a schedule!) never seem to work together.
I am not able to go to the plays that my little sister directs or acts in. I don't get to see her while she is learning and growing and becoming who she is meant to be. I really wish I could be there.
I haven't seen my little brother play the drums (or any other instrument) since he was in high school. I haven't been to any of his gigs. I just haven't been there to go.
I don't know why but in the last several days - maybe weeks is more accurate - I have greatly missed my family. I have shared joy over the phone or through a text messages as people have become engaged or announced they are expecting or have held their precious child for the first time. We skyped for Christmas. But I haven't been there.
I want to be there for these moments. I want to be with a friend when they are having a hard time. I want to go to my sister's and just listen to her life with five children running through the house. I want to be at the showers and the celebrations and the weddings. I want to hold these babies while they are babies. I want to be a part of it.
I feel like I am missing everything.
So it may seem strange to those on the outside of this life that many of us have witnessed the birth of a friend's child. That many of us have held a leg or a hand or wiped the brow of a friend in labor. I am sure it seems strange to many on the outside that Logan's Godfather is one of C's fellow PL's that he deployed with many years ago. It may seem strange to those not in this life that we form friendships in a single night that will carry us through an entire year. We support each other. We carry each other. We hold each other's babies. We watch each other's backs. We share Thanksgiving and Christmas with a group of six other couples that are in no way related to us other than by a unit.
We become each other's families. We become the dearest friends. We form a sisterhood. Because on all the days that we cannot be in the place we want to be, with the people we want to be with, someone right beside us gets it. Someone right beside us is thinking the same thing, wanting the same thing, missing the exact. same. thing.
We carry each other's heartache on the days when we cannot have what we miss the most. We have to.
Because on days like today - when all I want to do is sit down with friends and eat chargrilled oysters and king cake and any good, Southern food, and poke my preggo friends' bellies and meet these precious, beautiful babies - it is good to know I have someone to carry mine.