Facebook has this new feature- memories- where they show you what you posted 1,2,4, 6- years ago today.
6 years ago this past week I said goodbye to my 2-bedroom loft apartment, packed up my car for shipping and took my 3-month-old baby girl on a plane to California.
It was scary, and sad, and little did I know it was the last time that I’d seen Dawn. Val and Sue were there too, my new-found family, they’d come to see me off. There were hugs and tears… and more hugs and more tears.
The journey ahead would be long. Painful at times spattered with pockets of joy and great deals of confusion as my husband and I tried to figure out what was best for our family.
On Sunday, I listened to a sermon about God’s plan… maybe, as I look back 6-years later, it was in His plan for us to take this journey. It was His way of shaking us up, taking us out of our comfort zones, only to put us right back where we belong.
California was our nightmare. It tested our marriages in ways that maybe no marriage should be tested. If you read my old blog you can see how my writing reflected the low point that I was at in my life. Lots of hurt. Lots of disappointment. Lots of anger. Pockets of joy, though, and those are what I hold on to.
Colorado, though we couldn’t always see it at the time, was our saving grace. It gave us what we needed as a couple to remember why we fell in love in the first place. It gave me friends, whom I adore. It gave me hope. It was the foreshadowing for career changes for myself and my husband. It gave us CJ… I get teary eyed just thinking about it. Colorado gave me new life.
Ohio was a blessing in and of itself, even if it was difficult to see sometimes. We were challenged professionally and personally in small ways, but using all of the growth that occurred in Colorado, we were able to use that to push through…
Right back to Florida. Where we belong.
When I flew out, I cried and cried on that plane right, listening to one song on repeat on my iPod. How could I leave? What would I do with myself? So many questions… no answers.
One memory stands out clear as day in my mind from that day: Dawn showed up unexpectedly at my apartment to see me one last time before I got on the plane. There she was, this quiet, brilliant, resilient woman standing at my door with tears in her eyes. We’d only known each other for (just short of) 2 years and didn’t know each other very well, but we’d had some heart-to-heart moments that defined our relationship.
Dawn helped me get my first job in Colorado with the glowing recommendation she gave. She helped me prepare for my job interviews in California. She always checked in on me to see how I was doing.
Finding out that we’d lost her the day before my birthday? That was hard. Being back here and not be able to see her or hug her or thank her for everything she did for me? That’s hard.
I miss her.
I’ve grown up a lot since we left back in April, 2009. I understand the things that are most important in my life. I have some direction of where I want to go. I love harder than I did when I left. I appreciate more… and more than anything, I believe wholeheartedly that there is a reason for all things- even if I don’t know what it is… and maybe we aren’t always supposed to know. Are things the same? Being back here in Florida? No. Not at all… Val’s gone. Sam’s gone. I don’t see my friends as often as I would like, but I’m here…I mean, how often do people get the chance to come full circle and try again? I consider myself blessed. After moving/traveling 5,800 miles my husband and I know this is our happy place, so we are okay.