"Home is where the Navy sends you" and for the first time since we left for college at the age of 18, the Navy will be sending us HOME!!! As of today, Tuesday September 13, 2011 the Gunderson household is filled with boxes. Tonight is our last night in our home, our last night here in beautiful Charleston, SC, and the last time that Aiden's silly giggles will bounce off the walls of this house! After tomorrow, someone else will move into this house and make it their home! Our time here...is done!
Although I was extremely overwhelmed and still recovering from the birth of our child, I was so incredibly excited to move here when Aiden was just 4 weeks old! We have LOVED every second here in this beautiful town! As with every "tour", we knew our time here was limited but for some reason I am not ready to go. For the first time EVER, I just want to stay! I would be lying if I said that I am unsure as to why, I, for the first time, am not ready to go because the truth is, I know exactly what is anchoring me to this place. The people, the irreplaceable friends, the scenery, the culture, this house and most importantly, the memories. This is where my baby boy began life...this is where he slept for the first time in his crib...shocked us by rolling over for the first time on Christmas morning...took his first steps...had his first "boo boo" and spoke his first words! Selfishly, I know that when the next family moves in and calls this house their home, they too will create memories that will, regardless of pictures, never be duplicated.
To say that I am sad would be an understatement....but despite my sadness, I know that there are many people who are extremely happy...you see, for the first time, the Gunderson family will be residing in their hometown! We will be living near our oldest and dearest friends, having playdates with their kids, and being around for the "everyday", you know ladies night, date nights, baby showers, weddings, births, and birthdays...those things that many of you take for granted are the very things that we have missed out on over the past 10 years!
Our time at "home" will be short but, no doubt, sweet! We will live in MD (in a hotel blah) for 11 weeks after which we will move on to Newport, RI for 6 months followed by another move to Virginia Beach, VA! Once in VA Beach (Norfolk) my husband will begin his department head tour on the USS Mason and will, unfortunately, deploy in March of 2013. For those of you who think we knew what we were getting into by joining the Navy HAHAHAHAHAHA...no one could ever plan for the "needs of the Navy" but my plan is this...I will move, even though I don't want to, and I will hold down the house! I will make everyplace we live our "home" and I will continue to do my very best as a supportive military wife, I will raise my son with pride for his country and hopefully with the adaptability to transition with the changes of the duty!
So as I sit in my bed and look at all of these boxes...too many labeled women's shoes...I have an extremely heavy heart. My first loves, my family (Aiden and Leif), will come with me...we will leave together...but I am leaving one love behind. To you Mr. (or Mrs.) Charleston, SC, THANK YOU...you have been so good to us! Your charm, your people, your hospitality and your way of life and swept us, The Gunderson's, head over heels! Thank you for letting us spend a chapter of our life here...it's one that I will never forget! And to the people who have filled this chapter of our career here, yes OUR career, with so many amazing memories...would you like to move to MD, RI and VA with us??? Seriously??? You can hide in a box! You all, you know who you are, are the reason for the tears...your friendship, kindness, loyalty and support have made this tour our best yet and have made leaving so much more difficult than we could have ever imagined! I am going to miss this place and these wonderful people...but there is no doubt that I am taking a piece of them with me...the pieces that have filled my heart with so much joy, love and most importantly so much comfort!
This post is wordy and lengthy so I will leave you with something that I will cherish forever...my fabulous friends and bootcamp buddies took me out for a fun farewell on the town...our trainer, who is by far the best trainer I have ever had, is also an incredible videographer, captured the night (and our bond) as a parting gift for me...and if it asks for a password that means you are special...password: Teresa2011