I apologize for the long pause. I'm not in denial anymore, but I'm still, on occasion, kicking and screaming. Bear with me!
This morning dawns rainy, cool, and gray--much like the first night we arrived in St. George, May 24th, 2008. There was the sweet smell of desert rain, which Phill had tried to describe to me numerous times. It's so appropriate that things come full-circle like this, in this, the month we first arrived. In July, we will watch movers pack all our belongings, many of the signs of our comfortable existence here, and wave as they take them to Grand Prairie, Texas, our future home. For the second half of July, we will travel around Utah, saying our see-you-laters and trying our best to cram in as much family/friend time as possible.
I am resigned to this fact. I know there's nothing to be done, as we've tried every avenue we know. It is simply what is to be. And since I can do nothing to change it, I am trying--so hard--to embrace it.
This month, we'll have Phill's mom, her husband, Phill's sister and kids, and Phill's brother visiting. We will enjoy St. George, try to stay cool in the heat, make the most of our time together, and celebrate Savanna's 4th birthday.
In June, I will teach the Scouts the basics of photography, try and be on time to my dear friend's birth, and enjoy a girl's night out in Cedar City with a sweet friend I've had since Reed was two years old.
We will make the best of our July, doing our traditional fireworks in the street on the Fourth (the burning of the toy truck is a must), spending time with friends, and then in the later half, enjoying our time with family up north, with my heart happy that I will get to see my sweet sister give birth to her second child.
We bought a large, laminated map of the U.S. that we will bring with us when we drive (around August 1st) from Utah to Texas. Along the way, we'll make a few stops at historic places (suggestions welcome), noting where we are on the map for the kids' sake. We'd like them to see how much ground we're covering. We'll also be putting pins in the map (once we're in a home) and showing them where all our loved ones are in relation to us. I will also welcome suggestions regarding traveling in a van with two cats, as it's been a long time since I've done so.
But even with all these preparations, these plans, even with all the wonderful encouragement from friends--and one who even lives in Denton, not far from where we'll be!--too often I find myself steeped in the bitter side of bittersweet. Sundays are particularly hard. We are surrounded by good people, people who love us and give us the best that friendship has to offer. Every hug, every smile, every bit of laughter and good conversation, is as painful as it is precious. Because I come home each Sunday and wonder how long it will take us to make these kinds of friendships in Texas. I feel the fear of such a big change; I wonder how my children will cope (they will cope well, but how?), and I wonder if I'm doing all I can to make this as seamless as possible. I cry almost as often as I whisper prayers of gratitude for the good people in our lives.
And then, because the ugly alternative I see is to become a mute and angry recluse, I choose to pick myself up and keep going. Keep doing the things that will help. Keep reading those emails from Heidi in Denton. Keep researching, planning, and preparing. Keep praying. Keep hoping. Keep remembering that our lives are in God's hands, and He won't leave us stranded in our sorrow.
Much as I am afraid, I know we have everything to look forward to. This will be different, that much is sure. But I am certain that God gives us no more than we can handle, and even more, gives us the things we need most. The things that will bring us closer to Him, and in turn, bring us the most joy.
I know that I have the strength to not only make the best of this, but to feel joy and excitement about what is to come. I want to meet this Texas-sized change with Texas-sized bravery. And I'm hopeful that what will follow is some proportionally-large happiness.