02 August 2009

Home is Where the Air Force Sends You

Growing up my family moved a handful of times. Obviously the biggest and most dramatic moves where to and from Brazil (where my parents just HAD to give me a sister in the process). San Antonio was pretty much home since we moved there when I was 8ish. While leaving one place was hard, I was young and I always assumed that this is what everyone else did.

When Stuart and I got married, I willingly entered into our union knowing that we were going to be moving quite a bit. My father was not in the military but since San Antonio is the home of Lackland AFB (which is also the home of the AF's boot camp) I saw a few military members from time to time. I understood that good 'ole Uncle Sam liked to change a family's course every 3-4 years though I was never sure why. So when Stuart asked me to marry him and announced that we would be moving to Wichita Falls for 4 months then jet-setting to Las Vegas for 4 years after that, I admit, I was a little excited.

I had dreams that we would be sent overseas, or to some small place like Elmendorf or Ellsworth. Then I woke up and realized that to get to any of those places you have to move. And pack. And live around boxes. And load said boxes in a trailer. And then find a dwelling in which to place all of these boxes. And then unpack these boxes. And then do it all over again in a short amount of time. OR you could just have the AF move you and stand there with a goofy grin plastered across your face while a team of guys tornado thru your house packing everything you own in the time that it would normally take you to do laundry and then come back the next day to load all your life into a gigantic truck that you pray will be at your next change of address. Either way, you stuff has to transfer from one locale to another.

BTW-we have moved 6 times in 6 years. Yeah....

What I wasn't prepared for with moving was saying goodbye. To friends that is. My dad was a Youth Minister while I was growing up and thus a lot of my friends were from church. Being young elicits a perfume that draws friends in. After getting married, "making friends" took on a whole new meaning. For one, we moved twice in the first 6 months of marriage. Plus all of a sudden you want to make friends with other married people (not that I didn't want to have friends that were single, but it was just a new phenomenon that you could double date and while the men were talking about "XYZ" the women could talk about cooking, cleaning, weddings, babies, the cost of milk at the Commissary and how in the world did our husbands loose all their romantic notions the minute we said "I do." Tantalizing conversations.).

Knowing that you're going to have to say goodbye to someone immediately makes my guard come up. It's not that I don't want to get to know them, it's just that I take my friendships that much more seriously now. Being in the military already brings a sense of comradery, but to have friendships is even more special.

That is why last night was so hard and special. Two of our friends are moving on Monday. Last night we got together to have a bon voyage of sorts. I didn't expect to cry, but I did. (Not that anyone but Stuart knew since I did it while driving home) We all know that moving is part of the job, but it doesn't make it any easier. I was truly proud of what Stuart did by serving our country and was equally proud when he made the decision to get out and fulfill is dream of finishing school. I was just as honored to be called a military wife as I know Erin and Jennifer are.

So to Erin and Jennifer and your families-good luck, God speed, y'all will be truly missed.


Brianna Kay said...

I completely understand - making friends, especially when your church is small, you live in the country, and your baby stays home, isn't anything like school or even college! But we at least have blogspot right? :-)

AutumnJade said...

I know how it is with the moving thing. Thats why I had such a hard time getting close to people. Saying goodbye stinks, but I think face book and blogs and the like make it easier now.