Goodbyes Suck And Why You Can’t Truly Ever Go Homew

When we received military orders to Florida six years ago,  I was heartbroken. I loved my life in California. I had a career that brought me an abundance of joy and purpose; My kids were connected and loved-up by family, close friends and the like.

I was living the dream~running and triathloning; living the lifestyle of SoCal with all her gentle breezes and overcast skies.

When we stepped foot in Tampa that August day, the oppressive heat was suffocating me to the core and being attacked by mosquitoes, my heart melted.

This place.  So far from my style, I dragged one of my closest Cali friends to travel with me to help get us settled in.  (Code for denial that I was leaving).

But, like Marine families are accustomed to doing, we rucked up,  unpacked and set up home. Eventually, said-friend had to return west. It was about to get real.

The three years spent on the tropical bay were full of surprises. At times the lowest. Lonely. Toxic.  Unexpected curveballs.

Then, God introduced me to a circle of sisters in Christ. Wrapped in their arms and invited in; They saw the darkness and knew I needed light.

When we received orders back to the west coast, it was bitter-sweet. Leaving these ladies was harder than I ever imagined.

Returning to the place I had called home on and off for most of my adult life, came with its set of unforeseen difficulties. Things were different.  It was as if we had come back to a place that was familiar,  but we were the new kids.

I learned…

You literally can’t go back. Home really is where you build a community and grow.  Some people will disappoint you; while others will lift you up. And every corner of the world has both kinds.  Ten moves in 20-plus years of marriage, I have learned this to be true. Often the hard way.

When I look back on some of the places God has placed us, the ones that seemed the most difficult at the time, in retrospect, were the most significant blessings.

Take what some call the mistake by the lake. Cleveland was a lifeline for our newborn journey through hearing loss, having access to world-class experts to guide us.  I met people who would end up being my forever-friends. Family.

I discovered yoga. It was this practice that helped me through a devastating miscarriage. Then, later, led to joining a prenatal yoga class; ending up in a new-mommy circle of love and support.

I couldn’t go home.  Because I was already there. That’s the point! Only, it’s taken many years, many moves and far too many tears to realize it.


June 8, 2014

“There are no words to express the bitter~sweet feeling in my heart. All who know me get that moving to Tampa nearly killed me. But; through the grace of God, I met a circle of sisters in Christ, that loved me up and saved me. Through two deployments, cancer, and other adversities ~ we persevered. Stronger. Wiser. I will miss you, my friends. You know who you are.

Til we meet again… Love You.”

2 Thoughts

  1. Love you, Valli! Up reading all your stories and they are so beautiful and healing,not only for you my dear friend. Putting your soul out there in words is a gift that allows all those who take your words in to search their own souls. You are a beautiful person!

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