I am currently spread out (and really I am uncomfortable balled up) on a pull-out-bed in my Aunt's basement with a sleeping two year old resting on my chest in such a way that I have to raise my left arm to type. I honestly don't know how he is sleeping through the "click-click-click" of my keyboard.
But then again, he and C are alternating snoring and Eli is holding his own in that department. Logan is awake on the air mattress beside me and is commenting on their noise while I type. C doesn't usually snore so I know he really is exhausted. He didn't make it 'til midnight tonight.
If I told you the last two weeks ... well nearly three ... have been a blur it would be an understatement. I haven't been able to breathe. To process. To think. I have just been able to "Go!"
And right now, with one year ending and another one beginning ... man, can I feel the weight.
On a Wednesday not too long ago, we found out that lil man would be evaluated for Autism. We set the first of multiple evals that day. Without question, one of my top ten most stressful days as an adult and as a momma. Without question. I am still trying to process.
Nearly exactly 24 hours after that smack-to-the-face, the call came through from C informing me that we had a total of three weeks to get to Leavenworth from Carson. Exactly three weeks. It was supposed to be Spring.
The moment I hung up the phone with him, I went straight into "go mode". I called the housing on post. I informed my "boss". I started closing out the very projects I had just started at ACS. I went to maintenance and put in every work order I could think of. I picked up touch up paint. I pulled out my FRG master book. I scheduled a roster scrub with our FRL. I bought a new PCS binder. I printed documents. I scheduled movers. I argued when they didn't show up. I changed schedules. I remembered to breathe when our house at Leavenworth fell through - the same day our movers didn't show up. I separated "must keep" and "do not pack" from everything else. I called up people to pick up the tons of paint and refinishing supplies in our home. I scheduled Eli's first eval and then canceled Eli's first eval. I spoke to his doctor about how this would change timelines and referrals. I filled out Logan's withdrawal paperwork from school. We made a rather large drop off to the local ARC. I shipped Christmas gifts. I purchased thank-you/farewell gifts. I wrote thank you cards. I wrote "see you soon" notes. I prioritized. I made cuts. I re-did. I bought primer. And more primer. And more primer. I painted. I edged. I painted some more. I cleaned. I patched. I learned to drop the things that I just couldn't handle. I gave away wine and liquor. I completed the ACS training calendar from January 2013 through August. I had to talk out loud to myself to step away from the computer when I knew I couldn't get the rest done. I handed off the info and masters to the friend filling the slot. I let go of the FRG Leader course revamp plan. I turned in my access card. I packed. I organized documents. I made mental notes (and physical notes) of what I wouldn't be able to get to.
I thought I had more time.
More time to let things go. More time to let people go. To say goodbye. To hand things off. To ease into it. Time to move on, to move forward, to thank those who mean the most. I just thought I had so much more time.
And what hurts the most is it felt like I was always saying goodbyes and "see-you-soons". From the day we found out, from that very day, we were saying goodbye. Every time with a friend, every event, every dinner, every moment was part of an end. It was part of a very big transition and I had so much to do. All I wanted to do was spend time with the people that have been so good to C and I - to watch a game or hang out or be together. To be with those who have been part of our family. Who have become so much a part of who we are. There just wasn't time.
So many people came to the Change-of-Command. So many friends and families. When I walked in, I didn't even notice. There were so many things I was doing at once, so many items I had to give out because this was our last time with so many of these wonderful people. I was running so late, so many things had gone wrong that morning. There were so many parts of my to-do list that had to happen right then. It wasn't until I overheard a comment by a leader and his spouse about how many people were there that I looked up and actually looked.
I am so very humbled and grateful and without the right words. Scanning that room brought me to tears. Thank you. Thank you for being present.
Every single moment spent with that unit made me grateful for the troopers who defend this nation. Made me grateful for the families who stand by them, beside them. Every new spouse thrown into the most challenging training schedule C and I have ever lived through, who became part of the positive rather than part of the negative, every one makes me so very proud to know them, to have had the honor to get to see their start, to see them thrive. They have my absolute respect, my most inward hope.
I don't do well with goodbyes. I don't do well with letting go. There are so many people that I want to take with me. That I want to have randomly walk in my door like any other day. I love how comfortable it was there. How many people knew us well enough to just walk right in. Who knew my Starbucks orders and moods and would stop to bring one by.
I love how many babies I was able to hold and love on and watch grow. I love the coffee-talks I got to have with so many of our families. I love seeing how different people can be and how incredibly blessed we are in this walk to see how differences can complete the whole.
I am grateful that I was given people that I could love so deeply and care for so much that my heart would break to leave them. I am grateful that each one was put in my life to teach me and mold me and guide me. I am grateful for the goodness that was given to us there, for the absolute joy and humor and kindness that poured out from our home. I am grateful that we were given friends that it hurts so much to leave because those friendships - the ones that break your heart when you must separate - those are never broken. The friends that you cannot even look at when you say "see you later" or "see you soon", those never leave you.
I am so blessed by and privileged to have such incredible relationships along this journey. Blessed beyond belief. Blessed beyond deserving.
The harder it hurts the more you know a place, know the people, will stay with you. The more they have become who you are.
We never have enough time with those you care about. Never enough time. Treasure your friendships, your mentors, your family. Treasure the time you are given. Time is beyond precious.
Leaving will never become easier. Moving forward will always hold sorrow. It has been my blessing to learn that every place we leave, every friend we leave, was once the "new place" and the "new person" we were worried to get to know. How blessed we are for so many new beginnings. How blessed we are to carry so many friends with us. How blessed we are to know there is a world of joy waiting behind that very next "hello".
Happy New Year from our family to yours.
Find the Joy.