Today, I have a bit of a heavy heart. You see, we moved most of our stuff this weekend to a new apartment where we will begin a new a very different life. One for which I am both grateful and nervous. Not only that, but I am realizing how very much I will miss this place I have called home for a little over a year.
I know that with every change I come across, I will first feel the sorrow of leaving behind that which I have come to love. In the moments before the change, there are things that may be difficult and I hope and long for the change. Then, when it actually comes to fruition, I mourn over the loss of what was once. Now is no different. I am still quite ecstatic, but realizing, that the joy of leaving is somewhat shadowed by the reminiscing and the notion that things were probably not as 'bad' (definitely a relative term) as I had previously thought. In reflecting on those things, I have much for which to be grateful.
I do not believe I could have grown more, and our family could have grown closer, through any other situation we may have experienced in our young lives. We have had our fair share of challenges; even in our short 3.3 years of marriage, but this has by far brought us the greatest challenge and the greatest joys.
It's the simple things in life for which I am most grateful now. I know it may sound silly, but I am grateful for a kitchen that will be within 50 feet of me, the opportunity to get up early (yes, I did just say EARLY) and make breakfast--a REAL breakfast--for my family, being able to take care of my child's needs almost immediately instead of having to delay him for several minutes (or hours) while I keep the schedule needed with the elderly couple, being able to show up at Devin's school just for a surprise, or baking cookies on a Sunday afternoon, etc. etc. It will be wonderful to go into the fridge and know what is there and realize that the couple's children haven't just come and used what I was going to use to make dinner that night. It will be fabulous to be able to leave the house at my will and pleasure to go to the grocery store or just to take a stroll. No longer the worries of elderly bowels, medications, finances, home care, extended family's wishes, particular meals, doctor and therapy appointments, therapy homework, life cards and DNRs, bills and mail, lost items, constant repetition, late night changes and fall recovery, cleaning, organizing their affairs, etc. But the chance to be our own family. A family without another family's everyday concerns in addition to our own. (Though, if I had to apply before I became a mother, it would have given me the very best practice and qualifications to do so.)
On the other hand, I am going to miss them. The cute little couple that has become rooted in my heart and soul forever. The adopted great-grandparents that Camden has come to know so well. The little family that has taken us into their home and made us a welcomed part of them.
They have taught me so much about life--not only through their spiritual strengths, but also through their challenges. They have given me more patience than I ever thought possible. You see, I can be a quite heated individual if you put me in the right situation. It's always been a concern I've had, but I have, believe it or not, learned patience--something so very pertinent, in my mind, for raising children.
They have taught us how to work together as a family. We have truly learned the intricacies of family patterns. Give and give, and give some more; even when you thought you had absolutely nothing left. Devin and I are such a team--and it has only been enhanced by the child that has entered into our lives.
They have taught me about perseverance. My goodness, I have never seen a man who is in so much pain working as hard as this 92 year old man! He will not let up! If his yard isn't in perfect order, he will do all he can to ensure that it is improved--even at the expense of his general health (indeed, there have been a few falls and some bloody messes; along with me trying to stop him in the first place because there are a lot of dangerous things for a 92 year old man to get into--much like a two year old). His is a physical endurance. One where you do not give up on your body; but rather, your body gives up on you. You push it and push it until the life just runs out.
Then, there is the mental perseverance of the woman. I would never last in her current condition. My mind is too overbearing. She continues to keep an optimistic outlook and attitude with life, though most would find nothing positive. She is grateful and complimentary in even the worst and most embarrassing situations. She has lost much of the dignity she once owned, due to a miserable disease, never to return. And yet, she continues. Head held high and forward pressing (figuratively speaking, of course, since she is mostly wheelchair and recliner bound). And she focuses on hope for healing, but faith in Jesus Christ if it is not so. Her plan is the Lord's plan through and through. She knows her purpose and destiny.
I've learned to talk a little sweeter, be a little more humble (or really a LOT more, since you can never be too humble really), fill myself with more gratitude, and never take for granted the smaller things life offers.
I have loved this opportunity. It has been a great service to them, but also to us. I will miss them something terrible. I also know this new chapter in our lives will create more learning, more opportunity, and a peaceful feeling of following the Lord's plan for us. He brought us here so we could be a family, so I wouldn't have to work away from home with a new baby, so we could have an ease from certain worldly concerns. And He will guide us further.
I have full faith in Him and know He will direct our path. As much as I have learned about love in this past year, I still cannot begin to understand the love which our Savior and Heavenly Father has for us. He loves us! And with that (and with the full intention of sounding cliche), I know anything is possible!