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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A stranger in a familiar land

I have been thinking a lot lately. That is dangerous business. It happens when you move on. The OWC has a motto of sorts at Lejeune and other places too, probably. "Bloom where you are planted". I like it. It comes with a strange perspective. Some people never move. They stay put in their home towns. They marry and have kids and see their parents every weekend. As much as I love my life, I envy them that. Not everyone would agree, depending on the parents they got landed with, I suppose.

I do get a different view of things. It is strange to go home and see nieces and nephews that were in diapers when you left running around talking and having opinions. You are that weird aunt that sends stuff from different countries come to kick them out of their beds for a few days. You have to warm back up to them from months or even years of absence.

You come into town and are hit with the extent your parents are aging. Not seeing them every week, but twice a year, you see it. You feel a pang of guilt. When sister is having sleepovers with mom and the grandkids, you don't get to go. You also don't get to help her catch up the cleaning and the mowing of 16 acres.You try to squeeze in visiting and helping into too short of a time frame. You don't get to be there for the "little surgeries" only the big ones. You get the big stories relayed, the big illnesses, big scandals, big memories. But there are small ones, small moments and little good times and bad that you miss and you never knew you missed them. You are stuck between belonging and being a stranger in your own family.

I have grown so independent and so self-sufficient that it is strange to go back into my parents house and just be able to relax. To not be in charge all the time, like I must be in my own home, is foreign. Having a traveling husband back and forth to war, you just learn to control everything yourself. It is how you mentally survive being in charge of the cubs when papa bear is away. It is hard to shelve that instinct and just sit back and let go. I do know that going home is like a balm, even if the balm stings a little at first. All the stressors and minor crisis and tears and responsibility that weighed on my shoulders since the last 6 months gets sloughed away, even with my resistance. I think that I am blessed to have such a home to go to( fully knowing that not everyone does). I have great in-laws and a family that would put the Ingalls to shame. Now that my oldest are in the military, I think about retirement. Making a homestead for the future with extra beds for visitors. I hope I can do it as well as my mother and my sister and my in-laws have done.


  1. Nice post, sis. Hang in there. XOXO. We love you and miss you.

  2. okay, I relate a little too well. If you were trying to produce tears in your readers....mission accomplished. This is great and all too real!

  3. Ditto to everything you said. ((((hugs))))