My Heart has Two Homes
Life has its Big moments!
Years later... still happy
It's all about the family
Where the story starts...
It has been almost 12 years since I have met my husband. It was a memorable occasion, well, at least for both of us, and that is all that truly matters in this story.
I was 19, and so was he. We had both stepped out onto fresh new ground. We had joined the military, said goodbye to family and friends, and traveled far away on an adventure truly of our own. We had suffered our dues in Basic Training, and we were trained to do a job needed for the Army in our Advanced Individual Training (better known as AIT), before finally reaching a destination we could call our permanent home (for at least two years!) This was when we met… at Fort Drum, New York.
Now immediately upon telling people my husband and I met in New York, they start to thinking big city lights, glamour, taxi cabs and “Oh the life!” Yep… not even close. Fort Drum is closer to the border of Canada then it is to any lights and glamour throughout the whole entire United States. We were in the middle of nowhere - which was truly comforting for me since I come from the middle of nowhere - Wisconsin. My husband, on the other hand, was completely out of his realm. He was from Southern California. A place were parking on the freeway is a norm, big city lights decorate the backdrop, and there is never a drop of snow. He was, ironically, shoved into the middle of nowhere where a flurry results in about 6 to 10 inches of snow! They should have issued him a shovel!
This is where our story begins. Two people, far from home, in a land unknown, who happen to run into each other one night and eventually fall in love. Now in the line of life, every little decision you make alters that line from being straight, sending you into an entirely different outcome. While a lifeline that is completely straight can only come from a person who has never lived, each little bump off the line can alter your life completely.
Looking back at all the bumps in my life giving my straight line a curvy and wild type pattern, I wonder what would have happened if I would have straightened out my line a little and never accepted this man’s proposal! While I am happy with my life and the results that have come from our meeting… it is still a thought of “I wonder?”
Do you have the same predicament?
Do you have family that lives in two different states?
And the Wedding Bells ring...
We got married while we were still in the military. When we finally got out, we had to make a very serious decision, one most people take for granted and never even have to consider - we had to choose which family to live by.
His family is from California and mine is from Wisconsin. This is obviously not a quick hop, skip and jump from each other. Sometimes I envy how my sisters' have significant others who come from the same area. They can share holidays with both families. Granted, it might be more hectic, but at least they can see both sides whenever they want. Ours always takes tons of planning and hours of traveling. While in the military, this was the way of life. After many years (and both of us out of the military), a few kids later, this has become a nuisance.
If we would have never met, it is very possible I would have come home after the military, meet a nice man from my own state and never had to deal with this hassle every day of my life. That is the “if” side of things. The nice side is, I have traveled. I get to see places. While my yearly vacation usually revolves around visiting family, it is nice to know we can go somewhere out of state with a fairly low budget.
If my husband and I would have never met, I can guarantee my three lovely children would have never existed. Yes, I might have had kids… and maybe he would have too. We would have been able to rely on a support system from both sides of the family in the same place. But if we would have never met and gotten married, our children would have never existed. While I think of the “ifs” of what life would have been like, my children are one thing I would never sacrifice.
The possibilities that could have been will never beat the real life I have lived. The memories my husband and I share are truly priceless. We have visited places some never venture out to see and we spend our time as a family, encouraging our children to grow up with the love of exploring.
We have taken road trips, spent days at Disneyland, caught some rays in a waterpark or two. We have seen the biggest Meteor Crater (as well as the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!) We have swam in lakes, swam in oceans, and camped in the middle of the woods. We have built castles in the sand and forts in the snow. We have hiked to waterfalls and sledded down snowy hills. We have explored the Mall of America and drove past The Arches in St. Louis. This is only a few things my children have been lucky enough to experience. If it wasn’t for my husband and I coming from two completely different areas, my children would have never experienced half of these sights! Many children may never have these opportunities.
So, while I sit and think of the “If’s” of what could have been if we would have never gotten married, or maybe never even met, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for the chance to have things differently. Yes, maybe it would have been an easier way of life, for the both of us, but would it really be worth it.
Therefore, my heart has two homes, and it is something that I must struggle with for the rest of my life. Part of my heart belongs in Wisconsin, where life is much simplier and you get to experience four seasons. The other part of my heart belongs in California. This is a place that I never knew, but have meet through the path I have taken in life.
For the rest of my life, it will be a back and forth battle on where to live. My heart belongs in both places and therefore, while I may be happy living in one place, I will always be torn for the family that is left on the other side.
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