Photographs and Lamp

We are officially unpacked. Well, we’ve at least unpacked all of the boxes we intend to unpack. The rest, we’ve moved into the attic for long-term storage. Pictures are hung, dishes washed and put away, walls are painted, we welcomed our first dinner guests last night.

I am beyond grateful to have instantly met a wonderful family upon our arrival. Kay and Chris work together, our kids have already had sleepovers, she has officially become my first Starkville friend. We’ve even been to the movies together. And you know how I feel about movies…

This week, we will attend all the kids’ open houses and back-to-school nights. A week from Monday, they begin school as Mississippians.

They all seem happy, excited, eager to see what’s ahead. They are resilient, these kids. Perhaps more resilient than their mom. Because there are still times — too many times — that my heart is heavy with sadness, with homesickness, with longing. I am still too easily brought to my emotional knees.

I’m a hugger, a toucher. I cherish the opportunity to talk with my friends and family over the phone as if they were just next door or down the street, but I miss their touch, their arms around me, their smell, their essence, their being. I miss them.

I want to pour a glass of wine for a friend, to sit beside her and talk, to feel the softness of her cheek under my hand.

I long for that closeness, that intimacy.

Am I beyond grateful for my wonderful husband and my fun and quirky kids? Without a doubt. Our relationships have already morphed and changed into something new and different. The boys are hugging me, Mary Claire is confiding in me, we have grown closer as a family. I’m watching Chris embrace this new adventure, am loving having him here with us more often than not. He is, after all, my number one. My alpha, my first and last and everything in between. He — as was so eloquently stated in “Jerry Maguire” — completes me.

The balance will come, I know. In time, the friendship hole in my heart will become less raw, less painful. New relationships will develop, our new lives will unfold beautifully — because we say so.

Today, however, my sighs are a bit heavier, my heart a little more exposed than I’d like it to be. As I sit among the framed and smiling faces of my beloved, I want to touch them, to hold them, to lay my head on their shoulders. And so, I will gather Chris and the kids around me. We will watch a movie, play a game, go for a walk, we will love and support each other.

And moment by moment, we’ll settle in.

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