Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reflection...

2008 is over, and I am almost one month into 2009...It is when you are torn between being glad that a year is over, and being grateful that it happened, and that you are still alive to relive it in your mind...

2008 began with Tim going to AIT for his medic training after having only been home from Basic Training for about 2 weeks. Not long after he left for Texas, I discovered that I was pregnant with #4. I had many, many mixed feelings. Joy, uncertainty, fear...I was 34-years old, not in the best of health, not the most patient person in the world, and going through one hell of a hard time...So, I did what I do best. I sucked it up, and kept going. Being a "single parent" again sucked. I was raising 3 kids, working full-time, going to school full-time and packing up an entire house, all while being ridiculously sick from being pregnant. It was good times.

I packed up our whole house basically all alone, scraped up the money to hire some guys to move all my stuff to a storage building, and moved in with my mom. From February to June, that is what I did. I kept it together for the most part. I worked until May, went to doctor's appointments, still had school full-time and took care of the kids.

Tim came home at the end of April after graduating from AIT. Up to this point, we STILL didn't know where the Army was going to send us. We had been given the very unfortunate news that we were going to Oklahoma, and I cried for a week. I mean, what the hell is in Oklahoma?! That didn't last long, though. Tim's final orders were for Ft. Carson, Colorado...Just when I thought it couldn't get ANY worse, I should have realized...THINGS CAN ALWAYS, ALWAYS be worse!!!!! This time, I only cried for a day or two. I mean, what are you gonna do?! However, the more I thought about it, the more petrified I became...

1,700 miles away from the only home you have EVER known is a long, long way! My supporters were mixed. Some sympathized & cried with me. A few told me to grow the hell up, stop feeling sorry for myself & embrace the adventure! Secretly, in my mind, I told them all to go to hell!!!!! For the most part, I just tried to keep on keeping on, and pretend that this was all a bad dream, and if I pushed it to the back of my mind long enough, it would go away. WRONG!!!!!

Tim left for Colorado at the beginning of May, reported in, and began the process of learning his job & finding a place for me & the kids to live. I told him in no uncertain terms that I was NOT coming to Colorado until I had a place to live, cable & internet. If I had to move to the deepest pits of hell, I was at least going to be technologically connected to the only place that will ever be home to me. While he was doing his thing in Colorado, I was still pretending that I wasn't going anywhere. I hung out with my sisters, did lunch with my friends, took the kids to Pullen Park.....Ang & Stasia (my BFF's) threw a baby shower for me on June 1st.

But then that day came in June when Tim showed back up in North Carolina, and I had to pack up my little room at my mom's and drive half-way across the country to a place that I just couldn't comprehend. We went to Winston-Salem to say goodbye to Tim's family. We did dinner at Golden Corral with my family. While sitting there, I looked around at everyone eating, talking, laughing and realized that that was the last time for I didn't know how long that we would all be in the same room together. It was a hard, hard moment for me and I couldn't help a few tears filling my eyes and trickling down my cheeks. Even now, as I type this, that feeling is so vivid and I am crying now. I quickly wiped the tears away, took a deep breath and pulled myself together. Man, it was hard to do, though.

The day before we left, I had lunch at Chili's in Wake Forest, NC with Ang & Stasia. We didn't talk about my leaving. We had lunch & a good time. We took a few pictures, and that was that. The night before we left, I said goodbye to my daddy, my sister, Heather & Brandon. THAT was hard. My heart hadn't hurt so badly since my Mema & Alex died...The next day, I said goodbye to my mom. I waited to start crying until she couldn't see me anymore, and then I cried freely...

It was a long, long trip. We drove for 3 days. We stopped overnight twice. The kids were actually pretty good, which was a blessing to me, because my nerves were shot! The drive was also very pretty. Although I am a beach girl, 100%, the mountains hold a weird fascination for me. Even crazier to me, was the obsession I developed with clouds, ESPECIALLY in Kansas ~ which, by the way, is a long-ass state! I realized while photographing about 100 different cloud scenes, that I wanted to take up photography. I took some AWESOME pictures!

When we crossed over the border into Colorado, I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I guess it really hit me then that I wasn't home anymore, and that I wasn't going to be for God knew how long. It was a DEVASTATING realization, but I think I hid it very well.

We got on base, and got to our new "home," and were immediately bombarded by the neighbors. All I wanted to do was go inside and go to sleep, and sleep until it was time to go back to North Carolina. Instead, I stood there & talked to the new neighbors until they politely let us go, took what we needed into the house, did my inspection, and then I don't really remember....That July 4th was the first time I can EVER remember NOT being with my family!!!!!

So, fast forward to August...The house was in order, Nicki had gotten settled into school and it was time for Dylan to come. I came close to death twice, I survived. Dylan was healthy & handsome. Life went on.

September, October & November went by. My father-in-law unexpectedly died. No Halloween with my sisters & my neices. No Thanksgiving @ my mama's & my daddy's. December came and we decided that (with a little help from some angels) that we were going home for 2 weeks for Christmas/New Year's. We drove straight through, left Friday night @ 9 PM and got to my mama's around 7:30 AM on Sunday morning. THAT was an exhausting drive. The time went by WAY too fast, and then we drove back to Colorado. It wasn't as hard to leave this time, but what was the use in getting upset?!

So, what did I get out of 2008?

* Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to HORRIBLE people! We
may NEVER, EVER know why this happens. However, I know in my heart that God has a
REALLY good reason for allowing this to happen, even if I cannot comprehend it!
* I found out who my TRUE friends are, and it really hurt to know I had been duped!
* I was blessed with another little miracle to add to my family.
* I realized for probably the millionth time in my life that I am a lot stronger
than I think I am.
* I realized that I am NOT ready to die yet....
* I realized how short life is, and that there isn't time to "get it together"
tomorrow. You have to do it today!!!
* I am always going to be who I am, and I need to learn to accept that & stop trying
to be perfect.
* I will NEVER take for granted again any time that I am allowed to spend with my
family & friends back home in the future, because you never know when it might be
the last time!
* I want to go to the beach at least ONCE in North Carolina this summer!
* I have lost myself over the years, and I have to work harder to get back to me!
* I was wallowing in self-pity and misery because it was better to have people
feeling sorry for me than to have to buck up & deal with life!
* People who really love you care all the time, not just when they want to or when
it's convenient for them.
* People who truly love you don't hurt you intentionally, and when they do, they
take it to heart and try not to do it again.

So, I am going to make a conscious effort to make sure 2009 is better than 2008! I mentioned in an earlier blog that I was going to conduct my "butterfly experiment."

Flashback: [Recently, the thought has occurred to me to pretend like each one of these forgotten memories is a caterpillar in a cocoon. Then, I will imagine the cocoons opening up & these BEAUTIFUL butterflies emerge and fly away, each one taking a forgotten memory with them. Just let them go! I feel that I would then be somewhat at peace. So, I have decided that I am going to try that...]

I did it, and the result was...It worked & it didn't work. I realized that some memories will be forgotten and, if they are, they are meant to be forgotten. Some memories you can never get rid of no matter how hard you try...Sometimes this is a good thing & sometimes it's a bad thing. Recently, I thought how wonderful it would be to go back to certain times and relive certain memories from my past. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that if I were able to go back, I would probably make the same mistakes over again. Or worse...I would choose a different path, and the end result would be even worse than the original outcome! So, it's definitely a good thing that we can't go back...

If you get nothing else out of this blog, PLEASE get this:

When it doesn't rain it snows
Yeah the cookie crumbles but in whose hand?
All things said and all things done
Life is short

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done...life's too short

Ooooh could this be....
Ooooh could this be the day I've waited for?

Another door to peek in through
The floor is filthy
But the couch is clean
At the end of the day
That's another day gone
Life is short....Ooo life is short

Ooooh
Could this be....
Ooooh
Could this be the day I've waited for?

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba...

Oh I am young but I have aged
Waited long to seize the day
All things said and plenty done
Oh I am young but I have a past
Travelled far to find the start
Yes I am scared and I've been burnt
But life is short

Ooooh
Could this be...
Ooooh
Could this be the day I've waited for?

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba...
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