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Friday, August 16, 2013

This Gift We Have Been Given

the gift of hope

I need to write. I need to put down in words what is running through my head right now. When I think back to where we were at this exact time last year, I can’t help but have a wave of sadness come over me. My Husband had been gone from us for 3 months. This was his second time working in Virginia, but this time, instead of it being 3 months…it is to be a year. I started homeschooling MHG for the first time. He missed her starring role in the Kindergarten graduation play and he missed her starting first grade at home. He missed Cindy crawling, her first birthday, and taking her first steps. It was a very dark, lonely and self-pitying time for me. The only light I had during those painful months, was our two beautiful girls.

They cast a spell on me, and it was, no doubt, a love spell. Their enchanting ways with which they spoke, laughed and played, had me leaning on their every word. Their every movement was mesmerizing. The joy I had, was given to me by them and looking back, I’m so grateful that I had them by my side, every step of the way. When all I could think about was the sinking hole in my heart given to me by my Husband’s absence, they would rush in, unknowingly, and fill it up. They were my little angels guiding me through the darkness.

That year was, without a doubt, the hardest year of my life. We’ve had other hard years, but that one trumped them all. Now, I sit here…trying to put into words what my heart is trying to say. I know what it’s like to be without my Husband and I never want to experience that again. I’ve seen the turmoil it caused for the girls, the grief from not understanding his absence, the anger and lashing out, and even the shutting down because they were hurt. In one whole year, we started to fall apart as a family. I never thought we would be able to make a comeback…let alone in such a short amount of time…

…but we did. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Throughout my life, I’ve gone through things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I never understood them then, but I do now. All my shortcomings, mistakes, failures, triumphs, experiences and victories are woven into the tapestry that is me. All the things I went through, shaped me and taught me important lessons, so that I might learn from them and be prepared for the next time…or to be able to look back with much appreciation and pride. I see how far I’ve come, how far we’ve come and I know that we have a long way to go, but I do not fear the future.

When I look into the eyes of our beautiful daughter’s, I see a reflection that is me. I only hope that I can teach them well enough, before they are thrust into this world. Every time they smile, my heart pours over with joy. Every time their giggles break the silence, I thank Goddess for placing them in my life. Raising them has been the greatest, most challenging and most incredible lesson that I have ever learned. They taught me that my heart will continue to grow, and that there is no end to the amount of love that I will ever have for them.

I am so incredibly grateful to have the four of us all together again. In the three months that we have been living in this home, we have bonded in ways that would never have been achieved anywhere else. Being in such tight quarters almost forces us to get along, to respect one another, to find joy in the simplest of moments, to laugh at the oddities that arise from this lifestyle and to love each other as much as we can. It is pretty much unbelievable, but we have made up for lost time. No longer are tears falling for a missing father, no longer are venomous words being spewed, no one is crying themselves to sleep and no one has that empty, desolate look in their eyes.

Our eldest daughter named our RV Hope. We bought it 3 months before my Husband came back, to take us to Virginia. She said it was because it gave us hope to be together again. To me though, it gave us the hope to strengthen our familial bond and to bring us back to the point where we were before. Hope has exceeded my expectations and has brought us to that point and far beyond. When I say I am lovin’ this crazy life of ours, yes, I love full-time RVing, but more importantly, I love what full-time RVing has given us. It has given me my family back and has brought us closer together. I do not know what the future holds, or how long we will do this. I do know, that I will always be grateful for this gift that we have been given…this gift of precious, irreplaceable, and unduplicable (is that even a word?) time together. It is a beautiful gift for which there really are no words for.

I love my family so much. There isn’t a single thing that I would change. This is where we are meant to be. This is how we are meant to live. These are the bonds we are meant to nurture and grow. This is our special gift, that we have given ourselves.

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