“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller
There is a small Thai restaurant 10 minutes down the road from where I live that I have stopped often to pick up dinner. I had not been there for a while so when I went in the other day, the owner told me she had been thinking of me and hoping I had not moved away. While I had to break the news to her that I was moving soon, her sincere thoughts were appreciated and brought a smile to my heart. I will miss her sweetness and their delicious food.
I closed on my Colorado home May 11th of last year. When I leave Colorado on April 18th, it will not have even been a whole year. I will tell you that despite how many adventures I had while here, it never felt like a place I would remain permanently. Still, I was blessed enough to forge some meaningful relationships while here. As I prepare to leave, I am having to say goodbye to these friends.
First, it was a special gift to have family in Colorado with me. I was able to get to know my cousin, Danny, and his wife, Brittany, a little better these last 11 months. I watched as they finally realized their dream of expecting a child—twins—and became parents to two healthy miracles–Porter Woods and Everly Amanda–on December 5th, 2018. Parenthood comes very naturally to them and they are an amazing team. We spent the Thanksgiving holiday together and made it a point to meet up throughout the year. For them, Colorado is home and I wish them all the best.
My neighbors to my left—the Garza family, looked in on my house and sweet fur babies a countless amount of times. They offered me help after I had surgery, hugged me when I had a bad weekend, whose cat, Sky, found a second home at my house, and whose daughter, Sophia, was a joy to get to know. We shared dinners and drinks, stories and laughs. Steven was quite the handyman when I was unable to fix something myself. Jasmine and I come from two different worlds but forged a friendship for which I am most grateful. We are stuck with each other for life now!
My neighbors on the right picked me up from post after a hail storm totaled my car. They worked out with me when I was preparing for a PT test. They let me borrow a weed eater when mine went on the blitz, gave me a ride to the hospital for a follow-up after surgery and repaired part of the fence that went down in the blizzard last month. Their son Dominique was a handsome bundle of energy and made me laugh. They were good people.
I exchanged many a story with my hairdresser, Alyce, every two months. I could not help but to feel sincere sadness and empathy when her son-in-law passed away from cancer last month or when her son who serves in the Coast Guard in Alaska was not being paid due to the government shutdown. She always took good care of me and I never walked out of the salon disappointed. As a matter of fact, I usually walked out with both great hair and newfound wisdom!
Because I have Scoliosis, I get a Craniosacral Therapy massage at least once a month or every other month. Carol is an angel. We had our last session on Monday, April 8th. Bittersweet. She thanked me for my trust, kindness and friendship but she truly has no idea how much our talks meant to me during our sessions. This last time, she shared a song with me, Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves and told me I am in her prayers always and I am going to be alright. After an extremely stressful week, it was exactly the message that God knew I needed to hear and bless Carol for being the messenger. We resolved to remain lifetime friends.
I wrote previously of Self-Care. It is a discipline as much as a luxury. Kathryn is wonderful. A talented and conscientious esthetician. She always took good care of me when I needed it the most. She will go far as she genuinely cares about people and wants to give them the very best. Tears were shed at our last session. I admire her pure heart. Unsure I have ever met someone with a purer one.
I contracted into the Reserves this past week. The Warrant and Officer with whom I was working with to find a position for me were so gracious and extremely thorough in ensuring I found something that would be suitable to my needs and enjoyable. I could not thank them enough. I frequented their offices so much over the last couple months that we could not help but to hug when the dotted lines were finally signed. When someone goes above and beyond for you, one cannot help but to feel overwhelmingly grateful.
Finally, to the Soldiers, NCOs and Supervisor I had the opportunity to work alongside this past year. I do not believe I could have finished out my active duty career working with a better group of professionals. We climbed Pike’s Peak together. One of my NCO’s got me to and from the hospital in one piece for surgery. Another ensured I made it to my follow-on appointments when I was unable to drive. My warrant taught me a great deal—about technology, Air Defense, the Army and about people. I always appreciated his honesty and his sense of humor. I laughed a lot in this final position. Finishing out my Active Duty career in a position that I was able to laugh every day was a tremendous gift.
I share all of this because it is truly a beautiful thing when although you have only been in a place for a short time, a profound and positive impact was made. Therefore, I do not want to say goodbye. Instead, I will say thank you for I am unable to bid farewell to people who inspired smiles in my heart. I am fortunate to be able to carry those smiles with me on my new journey.