July 5, 20101
There is a change a coming. . . . I have been wanting to write about this change for quite some time, but I had to mentally process it first. I think the older I get, the less I like change. The older I get the more I realize that change is inevitable. But that still doesn't mean that I like it!
Tomorrow Josh leaves for a 6 month job transfer to Birmingham, Alabama. He made the decision to take this transfer for job security and supplemental income to help his family move forward in life. When he decided to apply for the transfer, it seemed like a remote possibility, and a long way off. But this week reality has hit all of us. Tonight will be his last night here for quite awhile. Amanda and Mason and Maddison will sorely miss him. He is an active and involved husband and father. His Dad and I will miss him. He is a loving son, but also a good friend to us. We spend quite a bit of time with him every weekend, and sometimes through the week. His absence will be like a throbbing thumb to us. A constant reminder that our family is not whole.
I know this sounds like I am whinning, and I guess I am. For the first time in my life I have just a tiny sense of what military families endure. Of course, God willing, Josh will not be in any danger like military people are. But he will be gone, and we will miss him.
Having said this, I must add that I am so very, very proud of him for making this decision for the benefit of his family. He does not see this as a big adventure, or a chance to escape from the routine. He will be working 7 days a week in an unfamiliar city. He will be living in a hotel without the comforts of being in your own home. He will be worried constantly about how his wife and children are doing, about their general welfare. There is no way to ease this worry for him. He will miss his daughter's first day of kindergarten, and her 6th birthday. He will miss Thanksgiving, a planned camping trip, Halloween and deer season with his dad and extended family. No, this is not a decision that he made lightly.
I have no doubt that this will make him and his family stronger. It will give them a life time of appreciation for having the luxury of being together.
It will be a long 6 months. We will do what we all can to help each other get through this. It will be a learning experience and an opportunity. But right now, it hurts to think about it. It hurts to try to imagine it.
I have had some chance to reflect on this, and this is what I know: Josh is doing this out of love and responsibility, Amanda is a strong, capable partner, or he wouldn't be able to do this, Jessica and Scott will help up all by being here and doing what they do best (pitch in when needed, and just being here), Maddison and Mason will not really understand why their Dad is gone, and I think this will be the hardest part for all of us.
On the bright side, I am looking forward to my first trip to Birmingham. I don't know when or how, but I plan on making the trip at least once in the next 6 months. And I will take oatmeal raisin cookies, and maybe an apple pie. Two things Josh will miss out on this fall.
Yes, there is a change coming. Do we like it? NO. Do we understand it? Yes. Will we get through it? Of course. Change. . . .