Friday, April 2, 2010

Home sweet home

I have a confession to make. I have been home almost two whole weeks and have not found the time or energy to tell all of you.

Coming home has been a very surreal experience. Some days, it is hard to believe that, just a few weeks ago, I was living in a tent in a war zone, eating tuna for dinner and planning missions. Now, I am sleeping in my very comfy bed, eating curry for dinner and volunteering as much as possible at my kids' elementary school. I have gone from directing the actions of more than 60 soldiers and airmen to driving the kid's shuttle—and usually arriving late, no matter how early I try to leave!

I had a great trip home with a short overnight in Baltimore. We lived for two years in the suburbs of D.C. while I did graduate school, and some friends from there showed up at the airport to welcome me back to the United States. They had signs, balloons and dinner reservations waiting; it was a wonderful way to return home.

The next day, after some difficulty getting a flight from Dallas to home (one of the struggles of living in a one-carrier town), I arrived here to a crowd of family and friends. It was a strange feeling, as most were the same people who saw me off a year ago. It was hard to remember if I was coming or going.

At the airport, I was surprised to see my oldest with her arm in a splint and sling. She had fallen from her swing set a few days before and fractured both of the bones in her arm. Since then, she has been to the operating room for a closed reduction and is now in a highlighter-yellow colored cast. She is none the worse for wear and I keep saying that, if that is the worst thing that happened to them while I was gone, it was a success!

I managed to make it home for our boy's birthday. He is seven years old but still very much a mama's boy! He got a snowboarding game for the Wii for his birthday and the last several nights have been spent in a game marathon where he kicks my tail every time.

I must admit not much has changed in West Texas, which sometimes makes it hard to believe I was really gone for a year. One exciting change: We have orders to move this summer to Denver, Colorado, something we are all looking forward to. That means selling our house, cleaning cupboards and preparing the kids for a new school. Thankfully, this year has proven what troopers they are and their resiliency is amazing.

I will keep writing and will keep you posted as I continue to settle in and return to work, eventually. I am enjoying this life as lady of leisure and chief soccer shuttle driver!


For Reflections on Nursing Leadership, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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