Spring of 2010 was a very chaotic and tumultuous time in my life. We had prepared ourselves mentally for a move from all we knew, to something new--from Wyoming to Minnesota. Being third-trimester pregnant, working two days a week, caring for two toddlers, packing a house, trying to find a place to live in Minnesota...it was very hard. Very very hard.
Emotionally, it was even harder. There was no way to prepare myself for the shock and emptiness of leaving our very best friends.
March 12th and 13th were some of the best days of my life--the birth of Libby. Call me crazy but I really love labor and delivery (but am not looking forward to it as much this time--another blog post to follow as to why). Having sweet Libby join our family was awesome, her delivery was easy peasy and quick (in retrospect) and a two night stay in the hospital with JUST Libby and myself and room service bringing me food--pretty swell (even if I did get bumped from room to room and put on the old-folks floor, honest).
Once we were home, Libby's arrival took on a different meaning. We knew we weren't moving until after Libby was born. Now, Libby was here, and we had to get the house packed up, cleaned up, and moved.
We closed on our house April 30, 2010. That is not why the day was the worst day of my life--I loved that house (still have great memories of it and think I would be sad to see the changes the new owners have made, if that makes sense) but it was just a house. We sold it to some people buying their first house, which was fun--and there weren't any negotiation or inspection problems that we had to deal with.
My mother-in-law came a day or two before closing, so that she could help me after closing. David and I left the MIL at our dear friend Sean and Debbie's house with Ryan and Brooklyn. We stayed at Debbie's the night before closing (as our trailer was already all loaded up) and Ryan and Brooklyn stayed with their best friends for one sweet last playdate.
As soon as closing was done, back to Debbie's we went. I had to collect my children from their very best friends. I had to take myself away from my very best friend. I had to pretend to be strong for my kids and mother-in-law so they wouldn't know that I was breaking up inside (not to mention I was only 6 weeks post-partum and an emotional wreck anyway). The goodbyes lasted for way longer than they usually do...Debbie and I were both wrecks, crying really hard and I could hardly even talk.
We consoled the kids with movies in the DVD player and promise of Burger King in Wheatland for lunch, I fed Libby one last time before we started the long drive, and off we went. Good thing my van was used to that drive up to Sybille Canyon, because my eyes were full of tears (or dripping tears) for that first 10 miles until the turnoff. Bless my mother in law--she didn't try to console me, tell me she knew I how I felt, or try to fill the solemn silence. She was a perfect travel companion, especially for those first 10 miles.
Watching Laramie disappear in the rear-view mirror was the second-worst feeling in the world (the first being driving away from Fetterman St). It wasn't just a trip up to Gillette or over to Cheyenne or down to Ft Collins...every other time we had left Laramie, we knew we would be returning Home. This time when we left Laramie, when we we returned, we would be returning as visitors. Our claim in Laramie was being left there.
The first few weeks and months were really hard. Even though we met new people and found a church and found a home and a neighborhood and preschool and grocery store and doctor's office...it's hard not to compare. Especially in that first hard period of time. Especially when your baby is only 7 weeks old when you arrive in your temporary basement home. Especially when you are so lonely for friendship and companionship and familiarity.
It became easier to not think about "back in Laramie" because it hurt too much to think about it. Truly, I have not ever experienced that level of heart pain before. Even now, more than a year later, I still cry for Laramie every now and again. I still miss Debbie and Stephannie and Jo and Wiesje and Megan and Jaime with a painful ache. Any connection to Laramie makes me excited and wistful all at the same time. Things we used to do with friends in Laramie but now do by ourselves--watching a certain show or trips to the children's dentist or shopping for kids clothes or garage sale shopping--get done, but make me reminisce.
April 30, 2010, was the worst day of my life. I am content where we are and know that this what God has for us in this season of our lives. I am doing my best to raise our children as God wants us to and make the choices for our family that are the right choices. We have made friends, but distance and busy-ness separates us from the close easy companionship we shared in Laramie. We don't have 5 or 6 friends within 3 blocks of us and last-minute dinner invites usually don't work.
Our Pastor in Laramie told us that when we left Laramie, not to look for the same church because it just doesn't exist. I think Laramie (and everything that it stands for, and exists within Laramie, and everything we treasured in Laramie) doesn't exist anywhere else either.
We are fine. I think the depression has waned now that the sun has come out for the spring. We do have friends here that love us and pray for us. But April 30, 2010 was the worst day of my life and one that I know I will always remember because of how many GOOD days of my life preceded that date. I don't think it's healthy to dwell on the negative and sad, but April 30, 2010 was on my mind as April 30, 2011 approached. It came and went without incident and probably David was the only one who realized the significance to me.
Minnesota--you are lovely. Thank you for all the bugs (not really) but really, thank you for being green and having water all over the place. But Laramie--you're my first love and I really miss you.