(My boys with their adopted cousin making ground hog holes in my bestfriends backyard two months before our wedding)
One of the hardest goodbyes in my life was because of good things happening in my life. I had said goodbye's several times in my life by the time I reached my 33 year of life. However, in the preceeding 7 years I had made a great deal of personal growth and been in a stable environment, making many friendships and having many acts of kindness performed for me and my boys that left such feelings of warmth and affection between me and givers. I had been single for almost ten years, and finally the man of my dreams had asked for my hand in marriage. It was a whirlwind of activity to get married as quickly as we wanted to, and yet the months seemed to drag by interminably as we worked through the process. Yet all the time, in the back of my head, was the realization that we would be leaving behind not only the lifestyle of a single mother family that we had learned to cope with, but also many loved ones. My boys had friends that they had just estabilished bonds with and started spending time with beyond school. I had friends that I knew while I might contact them once in awhile that they wouldn't be as much a part of my life. It was so hard to give in to my new husband's needs and move. I remember as I started sifting through the things to put in the garage sale that my Mom was afraid that I was giving up my identity because there were so many cherished things that I put up for sale in the garage sale. I look back now and realize that while I knew that wasn't true, I didn't realize that I was in the process of saying goodbye. It was much easier to say goodbye to things and it was symbolic for me of letting go of all the things that I knew and putting myself into my beloved's and Savior's hands. I also know that the Lord prepared the way by sending me a visiting teacher about a year ahead to build a relationship with that later would move into the same ward as my husband right about the time we were to be engaged. This along with an old friend of my husbands that we have adopted as a Great Aunt, so to speak, who made sure she gave me hugs every Sunday, went along ways to making me feel that I was loved in my new ward. It is true that with great blessings come great responsibilities. I went from being taken care of by a ward family, to taking care of others and being among familiars to having to constantly reach out and make new friends. In the 3 years that I have lived here that hasn't changed much as our ward is very transient and my boys have changed school 3 times already. However, with every change and painful bit of growth, my Savior has been there for me. I am thankful that we never have to say 'good-bye' to him. Through prayer we have his constant companionship and I know he helps us through every 'good-bye' in our life. I am thankful that my husband had us move here. There are people that I miss from our old ward, but I know that we were needed here and that our whole family has been growing and being given the time we need to bond. I also know it was where we needed to be to prepare for our step to becoming an eternal family. I know in my heart that eventually we will leave this area and again it will be very hard as we have again made so many deep and lasting friendships, but I know that 'goodbyes' aren't forever and so I love the phrase from one of everyone's favorite hymns..."till we meet again, and Jesus's feet".