Editor’s note: I’m remarried now, and as it turns out, this day–the day I pulled the moving truck into town–was my second husband’s birthday! Isn’t that crazy?!? Just goes to show that you never know what’s around the corner. 🙂 ~MamaC
Well … I survived. I made the cross-country trip, retracing my steps back to the doorstep that I ran from. It was rather like reliving a nightmare in reverse.
Just as some quick background: The boys and I have been living with my parents for almost two months now. The first time we left, we brought only one small duffle bag (and the diaper bag, of course). Now the attorneys have managed to work out a temporary agreement that has allowed us to bring the rest of our things, which is an enormous blessing.
And as I drove the rental car around the streets where I used to live, I kept having the nagging feeling that I was inside a dream. (You know the dream. Every so often you have it, and you think, “Hey, I’ve been here before! I recognize this dream!” Ah! I hate that dream!) Over the next 48 hours, I frantically tore apart the life I’d built for my husband, my family, and myself in our little house over the past eight years and tossed it into the back of a moving truck. All the while, our family friend and legal representative of my husband stood by helping out and marking things off on a carefully prepared list to make sure we were in accordance with our rights to “remove our property from the premises.” I was given strength beyond my own — physically, mentally, and emotionally — to do what I needed to do in such a short amount of time. Looking back, I still don’t know how I managed it. I did it for my boys.
Next was the three-day pilgrimage the other direction, this time driving the big truck with my five-year-old and my father beside me. (My baby flew back with my mom to wait for us on the other side. Whew!) I wish I could say the journey was exhilarating and liberating. Moments were. I drove across the border myself, and felt the wind on my face and the adrenaline rush through my body like I hadn’t imagined was possible. But a lot of the time, I felt guilty and afraid. I guess old habits die hard. I suppose I have felt so terrified and so humiliated for so long that it is going to take a long, long time to rewire my brain.
We drove a million miles. We saw the beauty of our country. We watched the sun set over the Great Plains. We saw gigantic white wind mills (and talked about why renewable energy is so cool)! We drew pictures, sang songs, snuggled, watched movies, ate yummy snacks and did mad libs. Spending three uninterrupted days with my son was irreplaceable. I don’t think either one of us will ever forget it. I love my little boys more than words can express. We really missed the littlest one. I had a taste of what his Daddy must feel like, allowing us to live far, far away across the country during my healing process. And my heart ached.
We pulled the moving van into our driveway around sunset on the third day. Did anyone else just hear that in the voice of Ursula the sea witch? From Disney’s Little Mermaid? Anyway … Tomorrow we unload and I begin trying to rebuild the haphazardly disassembled life that I just dragged across the country in dozens of assorted boxes, bins, and suitcases. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions as our family begins this transition. Making this move is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m so exhausted and disoriented and exhilarated all at the same time. But at the end of the day, mostly I cling to my precious boys. And I have to believe that tomorrow will be a brighter day because of the steps I’ve taken today.