It’s only been three years this time.
Three years to meet the neighbors and become a block of friends and family.
Three years for the kids to find their group of friends in
Three years to become part of the children’s school as room mother.
Three years to find all the hideaway running and bicycle trails to adventure on.
Three years to add another baby to the family portrait.
Three years to remodel a fixer-upper to make a house a home.
It’s been only three short years and it is time to pull the tent-spikes from their temporary home as the Army orders for our son and family have been served and it’s now time for another military move.
Home is your safe place, your place of refuge.
Home is where you hang your hat.
Home is where you can be yourself.
Home is that door post where you keep a record of your children’s growth chart.
Home is that table of family dinners and conversation.
Home is that bed of sweet dreams where only your pillow and blanket will do.
Home is your address where memories are made.
Home is that backyard created for children in mind.
To sit by the campfire.
Home is a set of front steps that welcome you with open arms after being gone all day, or a seat where children eat their morning breakfast of donuts.
But duty calls and now it’s time to say goodbye.
It’s time to pack up the house and forward the mail. It’s a time to say goodbye to the friends, the familiar, your favorite coffee shop, the usual route to work. It’s a time to hug that faithful babysitter you entrusted with your children. It’s time to find a new home for the outside cat that welcomed you in the neighborhood three years ago and never left.
Being a member of the military you accept their core values, and one of them is honor.
Regarding honor, the Army states that:
“Honor is the one that embodies all the others. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.”
It’s that selfless service putting America first that makes serving in the military so hard. But you embrace the call and grace to serve your country well with pride and great courage.
Serving your country requires great sacrifice, especially family ties that must endure the heart’s tug of war of those frequent goodbyes. As grandparents we must be willing to let our grandchildren go with love and joy as the call to serve is a family affair.
This past weekend my husband and I spent many hours driving to bring our four babies home so we could reunite the cousins who haven’t been together for over three years. We wanted this special time together as a family before our military babies leave again for another three year journey, much farther than ever before. They won’t be within driving reach anymore and we will rely on technology to watch them grow.
How the faces of our little loves have changed since the last sleepover three years ago. A few of our grandchildren weren’t even born yet.
We had to get one last bike ride in for the memory books. And so much more.
These four faces will be unrecognizable in three years from the smiles we see today. Letting go is bittersweet. We can’t be selfish to hold them back, but a grandparent’s heart tells us to scoop them in our arms and never let go.
In times of sadness we lean on our faith in God, as he has mapped out our lives, he’s ordered our steps. God has a great big wonderful plan if we’d trust him and embrace it.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23 (KJV)
If our steps are ordered; and God loves us more than we could imagine, then who are we to argue with God in this military move.