Coming back from Fall Break: We returned from an amazing Fall break vacation on Caribbean cruise. Since we didn't get much of a summer break, we splurged on a cruise, and had a wonderful time. BJ and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon, and it was quite special to be together with Anna Cate and Molly, so many years later.
We also noted that we left on the anniversary of his first brain surgery and returned on the anniversary of his chest surgery to place the pace maker. We both agreed that the decadence we enjoyed was a great way to close out the chapter of our life has been the last year. The last morning, I sat on the ship looking at the water, thinking of how this was it and it was time to go home and start the next chapter in our life, but in truth, I don't feel like I have a home yet. I mean, this is my childhood home, and I know I live here, the girls are in school, I have a job, etc, but it still feels a little bit like a visit. On the cruise, I kept saying to the family, "Ya'll, I just can't get it through my head that we LIVE in Centerville." I wonder if it's because I've visited here for weeks at a time for 15 years, and only lived here for 2 years in the past 23. For whatever reason, I just don't quite feel it yet.
Also, I've been thinking and feeling a lot about last year, and I just can't help it so writing about it seems a healthy way to process it. I am just still sort of stunned at how bad it was, and the truth is I wasn't exactly feeling it then. Now, I'm more conscious of how shaky our of life became. Obviously, Anna Cate being sick was horrible, and then we had no idea that BJ wouldn't be returning to work. Then the stress of that was so hard on him that we thought the surgery was unsuccessful. So we knew we had to move, that I had to find a job, and. . . .we thought the surgery didn't even work because his tremor was so strong because of the stress of all the circumstances surrounding the work situation. It was awful, looking back on it. I mean it was tough in the moment but it wasn't as dreadful then as it is now in the hollow of my soul when I'm on this side of it. The surgery did work, but we certainly were in a certain kind of hell then. I was pretty stable then...I just kept walking. In the mean time to deal, BJ spent hours on the internet trying to dream of a new life here, and a main goal was goats.
And as another symbol of the new chapter of our life, the day after we got back from the cruise, BJ and girls picked up the newest addition: Betsy and Bud.
This past weekend, we enjoyed the festivities of Halloween. Last year, throughout the month of October, my family and I debated on what was best for Anna Cate, and when she should come home. My Dad felt so strongly that she needed to stay in Centerville thru Halloween. They had gotten thru some very dark days planning the fun of Halloween together, and so she stayed. When she came home to us in Virginia she brought with her the memories of how loved she felt in Centerville, a stack load of cards from her new friends, the memories of fun here, and I believe the strong sense that this was her home. This year it is, even though I guess it was last year too.
When I was a little girl and our family would play Monopoly, I always would loose because I wanted Park Place. This past year in March, after we had already bought this house, and I had not seen it, we were in New York and in a cab, we were talking about the value of homes across from Central Park. . .and BJ said, "that's like our house -- across from the Park."