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Monday, March 25, 2013

Goodbyes and teamwork!

We had three weeks to leave a home we had lived in for 11 years. The final day before we left was spent finishing up last minute details, last minute packing, and last minute good-byes. Oh, the dreaded last minute good-byes to family and friends.

 My Dad, who is literally best friends with both of my boys spent the Saturday night before we left cuddling my youngest, Grant, as they both wept. Hunter, my oldest child with Aspergers, made jokes and was acting very happy (because he didn't know how to show his emotions) which in turn was hurtful to my parents and uncomfortable for everyone. I knew he was hurting inside because of the tremble of his chin ever so often and the occasional tears in his eyes. He had the fear and the sadness, but he also had the horrible agony of not knowing what to do with all of these emotions and the turmoil they were creating. Grant knew to cry. He knew to be sad. At the very least, he knew what to do with the emotions that were hurting him so much!

Too make this move even harder, I am an only child which, in-turn, makes my children the only grandchildren. I am from a very small German Catholic community. I was raised in the same house my entire life. I grew up 2 blocks from almost everyone in my family, and even though I was an only child, I was never really alone.  I went to college 4 1/2 hours from home, but it was not the same. This was real change! This was being away from everyone and everything I had ever known! Along with the excitement of moving to a new place came the hurt of my family and the guilt I put on myself for doing this to them.

Sunday morning finally came. We rolled up our air mattresses; did a final walk-thru; said one last good-bye to our Indiana home; said good-bye to my in-laws (who were trying desperately to hold everything together); walked to our cars and thus closed that chapter of our lives. That Sunday, we left our home with two cars, two dogs, two kids, and four broken hearts to start our new adventure in Texas.

We left later than expected on Sunday, so the fourteen hour drive turned into early hours on Monday morning.  The movers were supposed to meet us at our new house late that morning. We were exhausted and thought about staying in a hotel and calling the movers off until the next day, but the boys were begging us to drive to our new house. I think they were searching for some sense of normalcy. Jeff and I were anxious to get there too, so we pulled over at a few rest stops to rest our eyes and finally we made it home (it still feels strange to say that)!We walked into the empty home and let the boys explore for a few minutes because until now they had only seen it in pictures. We carried one air mattress to our master bedroom and blew it up. Then, we all crawled onto it and together we slept in our new home. We were unsure and sad, but we were together. Somehow the togetherness made it feel right.

Through the entire process of Jeff losing his job and knowing that we were going to have to move, I kept telling the boys that we were a team! We were going to support dad in his new job, and we were going to start our new journey together as a family. I truly believed that with all my heart! I also knew that this was going to be a challenge of great proportions.  I was moving my child with Aspergers away from all of our support systems, and there were going to be more changes than I could stand to think about. I knew there were going to be tears from all of us from time to time, and many days of uncertainty, but we were (are) a team and we were going to be okay! GO TEAM!!