Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What's in a name?

Last August I knew things were changing.
The change that was ahead of us was big. BIG.
Our oldest started his senior year last August.
I was prepared (that's a dirty lie) for the slow but steady seperations that happen
when a boy crosses into manhood.
But, it still made my heart hurt.
**Insert random crying and large doses of nostalgia.**
It was a good hurt though.
The kind of hurt that happens when you grow.
What we didn't know, couldn't have known, was that life as we knew it
would be changing.
I've wanted to write about this for a while.
But the feelings were just too raw, and the words wouldn't come.
My emotions are still kind of all over the place, but
I know everyone is going to be ok.
We are covered.
We are loved.
When my grandma's journey here on Earth was coming to a close, 
we went home to be with her.
And we lost our son, Nate.
Well, it felt like a loss anyway.
He left more specifically.
He had been struggling for a long while.
And we had been stumbling behind trying to get ahead of 
his hurt.
Unfortunately, we never really caught up.
It's one of those things that makes a parent feel like a failure.
To see our boy losing himself was almost more than I could bear.
I've never prayed so hard. I prayed so hard my body ached with longing to have an answer.
What we came to was acceptance of a truth that we hated.
The realization that trying to force our will hadn't ever worked
and it was not likely to start working.
We had tough decisions to make
because we had to go back to Germany.
We decided to let Nate live with the decision to leave us.
In all of my life, I can't imagine that I'll ever have to do anything as difficult
as getting on a plane without my child.
I cried from Charlotte, NC all the way back to Germany.
Life felt like a thing that was just happening around me, and I was just watching
from outside.
I tried to be positive, I prayed for Nate and for us.
I did all the normal things because there was comfort in familiarity.
Nate didn't contact us for a while.
I sent messages to remind him that we love him and he
still has a family that cares.
Sometimes he responded, sometimes not.
That's been the way it is for 8 months now.
Its' still hard not to have him with us, but for reasons I don't
understand, this is the path that he's chosen.
He seems to be maturing and in that small statement,
there is hope.
Around the time that Nate left, Steve and I started 
giving serious thought to our family and 
what we want for it.
Our life as an Army family was good.
But it was filled with hardship.
Nothing unique neccessarily, the usual.
Deployments and seperations for training or schools, and
 of course the moving.
It took a toll on all of us.
We were basically always on the other side of the country
or the world from our family.
After a while, I think they got the impression that we were "used to" it.
But anyone that's done it knows, you don't get used to it.
You just do it.
So, hubs decided our family and building us up from the spirit out,
was more important that the next promotion board or mission.
Can I tell you?
I've never felt so cherished or loved than when he told me
he was retiring.
It was the sensation that God had breathed new life into us.
So now we're here.
Our house is empty and I'm excitedly looking foward to having a home.
Like a real one. With roots and everything.
I honestly didn't even know I wanted this!
No one is going to tell us we're moving in 2-3 years.
There's just one caveat.
We're leaving Germany with two kids.
Our oldest son was sworn-in to the Air Force last week.
He'll leave for basic from Germany.
Am I proud?
Oh. Em. Gee. Heck yes!!!
But there's that hurt, the one where you grow.
That brings me to what's in a name.
I named this blog to honor my beautiful family.
It was an homage to our four loud, funny, loving boys and the home we had together.
Because as an adult, that's always been the only home I've ever known.
So now that Nate is making a life on his own, and Devon is
going to serve our country.....
are we still us?
The half dozen.
Maybe we won't all be under the same roof all the time, and that's fine.
And it's probable that in the next several (I'm too young for this) years there will
be girlfriends and fiances and wives and grandkids.....
But at home in my heart, we'll always be us, the original half dozen.


  1. That was so beautiful Amber. It's hard to reply when the tears won't stop. I am right there with you sister. Separating from the life you have known, separating from being a full time parent to young adult couldn't be more right, that kind of growth hurts...but is necessary. I look forward to reading about your grand adventure of building a permanent life now that you can keep. Love, prayers, blessings, and friendship sweet Infante family!

  2. Thanks Tori! This is a big, wonderful (sorta scary) adventure. I'm so ready for what God has in store for our family next though, and I think it'll be fun to share that :-)


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