Categories
Personal

The Changing Winds of Life

It has been one helluva week here in this tiny little home.

Katie decided that she had placed her life on hold for long enough. She’d sacrificed several scholarships and opportunities for a relationship that went bust, so she decided to correct that.

On Monday she decided that she would join the Navy. The Army was out, despite our family’s history of it, since she didn’t want to even remotely follow in her ex-fiancée’s footsteps or chance running across him again.

Tuesday she contacted the local Navy recruiter.

Wednesday he arrived at the house and we spent the whole day doing paperwork. I ended up emailing documents back and forth until late in the evening.

Thursday morning she left for MEPS.

Friday evening she returned home after signing a 4-year contract.

She leaves February 19.

I’ve known this time was coming since the day she was born. That knowledge doesn’t ease the shock I feel at this moment. To give such a huge portion of your life to another person, only to have them grow up and move on is a sacrifice all parents make.

That doesn’t make it easier.

I am going to be fine. I have my public job to keep me socialized so I will have people to talk to face to face. I have my writing career. I have my 20-year goal of financial freedom to focus on…

…and I have you to keep me sane.

Your comments and messages have kept me sane for years now. They keep me moving forward. They give me a reason to sit down at this computer every morning and keep trying.

I cannot express how thankful I am to have you in my life.

Thank you for being there.

Categories
Personal

Update on Katie

It has been a challenging week or so around this tiny house. The kid had a major dust-up with her fiancée so the wedding is off. She spent a week at a friend’s house mourning the change but came back home the other evening.

Now she’s exploring her own path to the future.

We have a Navy recruiter coming to the house this morning. I know nothing about the Navy so this should be interesting.

Despite it being my day off I woke up early to don my warpaint and prepare for the encounter. I feel more secure when I’m wearing my warpaint, silly as it sounds. I’ve brewed a big pot of coffee as I sit here mentally preparing for the encounter.

I honestly believe that the military will help instill the grit she needs to navigate our challenging world. That said, if I tell her that or actively encourage her…well, she’s reached the point in her life where Mom is always wrong, so I don’t want to inadvertently encourage her to run the other way.

I want the decision to be hers so for this, aside from any questions, I need to keep my big mouth shut.

Wish me luck. Keeping quiet has never been my strong point.

What’s been going on with you lately? Please share your updates in the comments below.

Categories
Decorating

Honoring Memories

My dad kept a magic box filled with memories from his life. He rarely opened it; I didn’t have a chance to really look through it until after his death. I’ve kept the contents undisturbed, looking through them whenever I felt myself missing him.

The inner dialogue with my future self caused me to realize that his memory should be cherished, honored in some way so that I could have him close by. I’ve always admired homes with their memories displayed; they seemed to hold a window into the soul of the person who displayed them yet I’d not gathered the courage to do the same.

I’ve decided to change that.

I gathered up the small collection of photo frames I’d used to display pithy sayings and decided to put them to a real use. Instead of simple decorations, they are now a window to my past. I may not be ready to truly decorate until the kid moves out and I properly rearrange things but it would be a start.

The first thing I did was decide to honor my dad.

I opened his box, admiring the photos he’d collected back during his Army days, selected some from his Airborne training in Fort Benning, Georgia and mounted them near my bed. I didn’t have enough frames (or the proper size) but I had enough for a small start. I’ll add more photos to the montage as money allows.

It will take a bit of time to get the placement absolutely correct; I’ll doubtless move them once the kid moves out and I rearrange but for now I can snuggle up at night with him close.

Dad would probably shake his head at my sentimentality.

In time I intend to dig through my memories and fill this old house. I want to honor the past even as I focus on the future. We can’t know where we’re going unless we remember where we’ve been.

Have you ever honored the memory of the past in a similar manner? Please share your stories in the comments below.