Nine months ago last Monday, my husband was laid off. It wasn’t completely unexpected. The contract he was working on had to reduce the number of workers. We mistakenly thought that the lowest producers would be cut. Instead, the highest paid (and highest producers) were let go. To say we were shocked is an understatement. It was the first time he’d ever lost a job instead of leaving it on his own terms.
We were blessed when he got a job offer two weeks later. The catch was the move from St. Louis to Chicago. But it was a job, and being retired military, moving for a job was no big deal. Or so I thought.
I’ve written a little bit about the really hard parts, about the grief of leaving my old life to step into the unknown. Again. The grief was new. We moved five times in the last seven years of Eric’s military career. I never grieved my old life. I picked it up and moved it.
Now that we’re settled in to our new place and have had friends come to visit, we feel more at home. I’m starting to see the possibility in the new normal and have learned to embrace both the good and bad of city life.
One thing I’ve learned is grief isn’t linear. I can go weeks without thinking about it, and then something comes out of nowhere and reminds me of where I was a year ago, and it makes me cry. Usually it’s something innocuous, but these days it’s as much gratitude that I’ve come through the worst of it as it is missing my kids. I was waiting to stop missing them so much, and then my mom told me it’s not going to happen.
I’ve come to realize that although chronologically I’m well into adulthood, I’m still a kid in God’s eyes. I still have a lot of growing to do, and He knew it wasn’t enough for my kids to leave the nest. To take my next step, I had to leave the nest, too.