No, we don't know where we're going next.
No, we don't have tickets.
No, I don't know a specific day I'm leaving.
No, I don't have anything packed.
But as frustrating as it is, this rapid deadline has really been the cause of some introspection as well. All of us have been looking back at our time in Korea, kind-of, in a different light. While there will ALWAYS be things about this "tour" that will frustrate us, there are definitely things that we have learned and that we have to be grateful for. As our time is ending here, it's slowly sinking in that the people that have created our second family will still be here and we will probably not see them again. As hard as it was for Gabe to leave North Carolina and Michigan, Korea will be much MUCH harder. Even though we've only been here for just under two years, we ALL have formed life-long friendships. And will dearly miss all the families that we leave behind. In a way, we are almost bitter-sweetly leaving this base. We will be more than happy to be back in the States, but Humphrey's has become a community for us. So many of us have been pregnant together, seen our babies grow up and attended playgroups with the kids. Currently, there are six or seven of us that are all pregnant together (due within 5 months of each other) and a couple that have just had their babies. We won't be able to hold each other's babies, or bring dinners to each other, or take the older kids to the park and give Mom a break. It's heart wrenching and unfathomable. Gabe was having friend-withdrawals after two days of being home, I can't imagine what he'll be like when everything sinks in. Friend-separation is something that we'll be dealing with very soon.
However, I am SO THANKFUL for Facebook and Skype and all the other social media tools that allow people on different continents to connect. While they have helped us stay in touch with family during this "tour", they will continue to help us maintain our long distance friendships as we leave Korea. I am thankful that we decided to have a going away party and so many friends will be able to attend. My goal is to take pictures of Gabe with all his friends and make scrapbook pages for him. Also, I want to put pictures up on a map so we can track where our friends are. Maybe it will help with geography, but the main goal is so he won't feel like everyone's so far away. Part of me understands that this is an Army life, the constant moving and uprooting of our family, this is what Matt has signed up for and what our country needs. But it doesn't make it any less painful. It's likely that every three to four years, we'll be doing the same thing - leaving old friends to make new ones and honestly, it's a little disheartening.
I just tell myself it'll get easier the more times we move, the boys and I will adjust.