It started our second year that we had babies, toddlers, children who needed us to be home. So, rather than going out and fighting the crowds, we started staying home and having a fancy picnic on china instead. This year, II actually planned something else and I realized I have come to cherish these quiet picnics at home. My children helped me setup a card table in my bedroom. By the time I got there, I found two of my teenagers trying to remember how to set all of the extra dishes and silverware of fine china. The two least likely to get along on a daily basis were the two partnered to give us a gift of love as they poured over it and helped each other remember how to set a fancy place setting.
We've once again been through hell this last year. It wasn't supposed to be that way. It feels like that has been part of the struggle to adapt this time, that none of this was our choices but someone else's. II and I have both had contact with some people at his last workplace and pushing him to resign started a downward spiral that they aren't even close to recovering from there. Nearly half of the management have jumped ship after what was done to II, undoubtably grasping that if it could be done to him then it could be done to any of them.
For all of the transitions and stress and ripped open grief, there are good things about this new life here. This job is perfect for II in ways the last one never could have been, nor would have been. It as if someone looked at his strengths and wrote a job description just for him. He loves what he does, but this position was a promotion, a chance to utilize his thinking skills and less of his hand's on management.
We're back south and despite the crazy weather that seems to have followed us back, there were things I had forgotten I even missed, or I simply couldn't articulate. What I missed the very most about where we were was the sun. In this house, my chair is directly next to a huge patio door and the afternoon sun streams across me as I study. I may regret that when summer comes. More likely, I'll have to invest in some decent curtains by then so I don't burn to a crisp in that summer sun. But, the sudden infusion of sun into my dreary winter has been healing for me. I see the same effect on the children, though they don't grasp it is the sun that has restored them.
The transition to this new school district has been bumpy. Almost all of the kids made some mistakes in that transition that they are now battling to correct. However, they are slowly and steadily getting there, slowly making friends and feeling like they fit in again. And they are finding so much more for them here as they do settle.
This house is perfect for this family. It's as large as the last one, but it's supremely designed to be simply perfect for this family. I have given away all of the boxes, have begun to transform this house to mine. I have no intention of ever moving again. I made that clear when I moved here, and I am absolutely set on that decision now that I'm actually here.
A strange timing on my schoolwork required I reach out and find someone in the local medical community as a mentor for a class. Consequently, I stumbled upon a professional community that is warm and welcoming to me. I have embarked upon a research project outside of the classroom, have started to make connections with the Nurse Practitioners here, and have found a home. Never did I imagine I would do that so quickly and effective. I volunteer at a low income clinic once a week now, and I am forging fast friendships with those I work with. I also get to work with training nursing students and am realizing that I love doing that work as much as I love working with actual patients. I love that though I am trying to not have to work more hours than I can balance by taking a permanent position somewhere, I am wanted and welcomed at this clinic where I can use my skills and forge those friendships.
In a short six weeks, this place feels like home to all of us. We are connections. We are establishing community. We are happy and thriving. This year, more than the chance to talk about love, I am realizing that we are home. After all we've endured, all of the grief, the loses, the changes the moves, all I can think is please God let this finally be IT. Today we have calm, stability, security. I am ready to simply abide and give my children a sanctuary to finish their childhoods. I feel like we may have found it here in this southern city, close to family, close enough to reach out to old friends, and friendly enough that we are so quickly and so happily making new friends here.