October 18, 2016 by Carrie Blair
Hi friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve given everyone an update on my life. I’ve been meaning to write more, but well life got in the way.
I leave South Carolina in 20 days. And really, the 20th day I’ll be leaving around 4 AM, so I actually only have 19 days left – and today is almost over, so really just 18. 18 DAYS!!! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for 8 months now. There are times when it feels like time is standing still, yet when I look back on everything that I’ve done while here in SC, it feels like I’ve been here years now. In the spirit of honesty, I would do anything to just stay here, with my family, forever. The amount of fun and pure joy we’ve experienced over the past 8 months is indescribable. Not many people get to go back to their hometown and live with their parents in true harmony again. I remember growing up and thinking how I’ll never come back to this small town again, yet here I am, wishing I didn’t have to leave. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO excited to see Atticus and live with him again. But boy oh boy am I going to miss home even more than I did last August when we moved to Colorado. Eating dinner with my parents every night, spending precious time with my sisters and nephews, taking Magnolia on a walk twice a day around the schools I grew up in, running on the field with my dad after Clemson victories, going horseback riding with my mom, taking care of my grandmother when she was sick, trying out new breweries with mom & dad, taking Magnolia to the Clemson Dikes, and most importantly, getting to tell my parents every single day that I love them. All of those and so many more are what I’ll miss when I leave in 20 days.
I titled this “Overwhelmingly Anxious” because well that’s exactly how I’m feeling right about now. November will be 9 months that Atticus has been gone. He’s been away 75% of our marriage, and really if I got technical about it, I’m sure it’s much more than that. But in a few short weeks, Atticus will be coming home again. And I’m overwhelmingly anxious about being his wife again, being his roommate again, and ultimately being his friend again. Sure, we’ve “talked” while he’s been away. And by “talked” I mean yelled “hello” 45 times in a row back and forth until the connection comes through for about 2 minutes and then he has to go do important things again. The actual conversations are far and few between, with nothing too deep actually being said. And sure, letters have been written and packages sent; but really, it’s impossible to stay truly connected to a person when they’re 7500 miles away in a combat zone. I know I’m not alone in this – every book I’ve ever read about deployments says how hard it is on your marriage and how reintegration is just as hard because you’re really getting to know each other again. But the devil puts these fears in my heart and, well, it’s getting harder and harder to push them away as his return home gets closer and closer.
On a whole other level as well, I have to actually move back to Colorado – with both cars, into a brand new place. Moving sucks. This will be my 5th move, in my 5th house, in a year and a half. Talk about miserable. Luckily I have the greatest best friend in the entire world who has so graciously offered to drive our second car behind me, on our 24 hour drive out there. It takes a special friendship to offer something that huge. Sarah, you really are one of a kind and I’m SO thankful for you! We’ll be doing the trip in two long days, stopping at her grandmother’s house in St. Louis overnight, and hopefully making it back in time for me to vote in CO on the 8th (where my vote actually counts!). Driving across the country is actually not as terrible as some people might think. Sarah, Magnolia, & I will at least try to make some fun out of it! I’ve already signed another lease with a house that we are so excited to move in to (and it has 2 extra bedrooms so y’all PLEASE COME VISIT). The actual move isn’t as overwhelming as it was last year since I actually know the neighborhood & town we’re moving into and I’ve driven that route a few times now. I’m ultra praying for no big snow storms right now because that would put a huge damper on the whole trip if roads are closed from snow; but I’ve put that in the Lord’s hands (not like this whole thing called LIFE isn’t in His hands already, can I get an Amen?) and well if we have to stop in Kansas because of snow, we’ll have to stop in Kansas.
I’m sure the only people that are still reading are waiting to hear about Atticus and what our life will be like when he gets home. The most asked question I get is, “So what’s your plan when he gets home?” as well as, “Will he be home for good now?” To answer them both plainly, we have absolutely no idea. Ok maybe that’s an exaggeration, we have hopes and dreams of where we want to be, but the reality is that the military doesn’t care what you want or where you want to be. The military cares about what it needs from you. If the Army needs Atticus back in Afghanistan in December, the Army will send Atticus back in December. Do we think that will happen? Probably not. But the truth is, there is no guarantee. When Atticus and his men return home, they’re all given a 3 day “pass”, which means they get 3 days of vacation. If that so happens to start on Friday then he gets Friday, Saturday, & Sunday off. He will have to return to work Monday morning at 5:30 for PT. That’s the only guarantee we have right now. 3 days. I’m not trying to sound ultra negative, but that’s the reality of it. There’s no set time he’s required to be state’s side, and no set time he’s given off with his family. Work will resume as usual before he left, and life will go on. We both have hopes of returning to the Southeast this Spring if all goes well over the next few months, but I’m trying hard not to get my hopes up too high just in case it falls through. I’ve learned to expect the worst case scenario so that I’m no longer disappointed every time something doesn’t work out.
So here I am, wishing I could stay here, in this moment, forever, and not have to think about work, school, making friends, finding a church, adjusting to the altitude, and a thousand other things — all the while longing to be with my husband again. My heart is so overwhelmingly anxious for what’s to come that I could explode. But instead, I’ll take Magnolia on our nightly walk and pray for peace and joy as we look towards the future. I’ve still got 19 of those left here in Powdersville and I’m not going to waste a single minute of them.