This story starts in the most interesting of places. You see, it was because of a story much like this that my blog first came to be. Two and a half years ago, I said goodbye to my husband one early morning, and watched as he left his family for over two months for work. I blogged about life as a single parent, in part, as a way to deal with such a life changing time in our family. A young mother with two young children and a baby in arms, wondering how she would stay a float while her husband traveled the exotic lands of India.
It seems interesting then, that in the beginning of our new story, we have come full circle; back to where we began.I find myself once more watching my husband leave his family for work, off to travel (the not so exotic) lands of Utah. Perhaps not so young this time, but never the less, a mother with four young children and a baby on the way, wondering how she will stay afloat while she tends her children for the next six months.
Two and a half weeks ago Benjamin was originally going to travel to Utah for a reunion of people who served with him during his mission, as well as a technology conference. His work, upon hearing of this event decided he would be the perfect manager to send out to Salt Lake City, to over see the setting up of their new offices out there. Initially, they wanted him to go for one month. The idea was sudden, but after many business trips, a month was certainly something that could be done. Then the phone call came.
"How would you feel about living in Utah for six months?" I heard my husband ask me over the phone.
The idea smacked of adventure for all of us, most especially the children. A new place to explore, a new set of friends to make, and many amazing places to visit. And six months was finite and gave us a foreseeable return to our country home and haven. I asked him when we would have to leave.
"Two weeks," he stated.
This is when, as a mother, the myriad of realities flash through the mind. Leaving in two weeks from the conversation meant, leaving in the middle of the school year. Leaving friends without the natural break of summer holidays, or proper preparation. It meant renting out the home we'd only just purchased ten months before. And then, come the end, having to once more take children from a school year (this time in the new school) and shuttling them back across the mountains and plopping them back down into the 'new' old routine. There were also the questions of what about birthday parties, karate lessons, pets that would have to be re homed. The reality of it all only took moments to sink it. Six months just could not happen.
And, so the late night discussions happened that night as we lay tucked into our bed; about the stresses of such a long trip, about how the kids would handle it, and about how everyone would miss everyone terribly, but that in the end we would all do wonderfully well, and that really six months wasn't quite so very long at all. And then, the decision made, we drifted off to sleep.
Two and a half weeks ago, in the wee hours of the morning, I watched once more, my husband head out the door. How thankful I am to live in a time where my kids can kiss their dad good night over a web cam, and telephone calls during the day are common place. I am grateful for our amazing friends and family who know exactly when I am in need of love and lifting up, even before I quite know it. I'm so happy for deliciously hot summer days that will be here quickly, when we can all pile in the car and drive the insanely long drive to Utah to visit Daddy again. Mostly, I am thankful to know that no matter where we wander in this world, we are family; and six months does nothing to change that.
As I think of the many in this world who have had to endure these struggles without such rich blessings, I marvel at their daily strength. I think of pioneer women, who would watch as their husbands left to serve missions for our early church, not knowing if they would ever see them again. I think of spouses who through heartbreaking circumstances, lose their partner and must continue on each day for their children all while trying to make sense of their own grief. And I think of the countless men and women around the world whose partner serve our country in the armed forces. Often going years with frequent separation; the infrequent communication, the missed moments of family life, and the constant uncertainty of safety.I think of this, and I marvel.
It is then that I realise that October is not so very far off after all.