Be warned, this is a crazy long post.
I'm in a rambling mood today and need to write (or type) some stuff, record some feelings while they are fresh.
Fresh Market closed their doors on January 2, 2011, Rick's last day was the 30th of December. We are still young, only 57, but at this point in our lives I never thought we'd have to be concerned with career changes. Just before Fresh Market announced they were closing, Smith's Food Store let their meat department manager go. Smith's district manager approached Rick about working for them, quite a pat on the back in my opinion. He applied for the job and found out on the 8th of January that he had been hired. He was supposed to start on the 24th of January as the meat department manager.
During this time Rick was also approached by the 222nd, our local National Guard Unit, about the possibility of returning to Iraq for a second deployment. This is a tough one for Rick, or any other military man. I asked Rick to really ponder and pray about his decision. I knew if he followed his heart alone, he would end up back in Iraq.
Also during this time period, my little mom took a fall at home. I always call her on my way to work to check on her and check in. On December 30th she didn't answer, so I called again, came to work, called, worked a little, called again and finally went down. Mom uses oxygen at night, and her oxygen machine was the first sound I heard when I entered her house. I heard a small voice say "is that you honey"? I found her laying on the carpet between the bathroom and family room and she couldn't get up. She had been laying there for about 4 hours and was freezing. It breaks my heart even now to think of her laying there. After getting her up and getting her warmed up, we determined that she was okay, and didn't need to see the doctor. She even went to have her hair done that day.
She started feeling worse, like we figured she would, but even if ribs were broken the doctor wouldn't do anything and she hates to go to the doctor. On New Year's Day Rick and I stopped by to see her and her right eye was PURPLE. Then as the days passed, the whole right side of her face turned purple. She even had a bruise behind her right ear the shape of her ear. I can only imagine how hard she must have hit the wall when she fell. I thank my Heavenly Father EVERYDAY that I found her when I did and that she's okay, we so easily could have lost her that day. She now has a medical alert necklace so she can call for help when it's needed. She continues to improve, not as fast as I would like, but she's a trooper and keeps plugging along.
I know that her time is coming and my heart breaks to think of loosing her, but I will never ask her to stay or try to keep her here for selfish reasons. I know her life is in Heavenly Father's Hands, I'm happy for that, even though it's so hard to keep focused on the eternal perspective.
During this time I would have been a mess without Justin. He is always my steadying influence. He can calm me, help me see the bigger picture, remind me to turn it all over to our Heavenly Father. And he can do all this while worrying about his cute little grandma and being so sad thinking that his dad might end up in Iraq again. AND all this while working on his PhD. He's 1500 miles away from home, but so close in spirit and always in my heart.
So, Rick met with Smith's on the 24th and told them about the possibility of being deployed. They were less than impressed that they could hire him and lose him 4 months later. This was decision time for us, mostly Rick. He told Smith's he would let them know on the 26th. There were 3 possibilities and I felt that whichever one we chose things would work out. So I tried not to sway Rick's decision too much.
So that morning, in our prayer, we asked Heavenly Father to help Rick make the decision that Heavenly Father wanted him to make. I came to work that day with no idea how the day would end. Would Rick be spending more time teaching at Camp Williams, deploying in June to Iraq or managing the meat department at Smith's? I was at peace, again knowing the future was in Heavenly Father's Hands.
Rick called me about 10:30 that morning and said "I told them to go for it", meaning he chose to stay and go to work at Smith's. My reaction surprised me, I started to cry, I cried because I was happy and because I was relieved and mostly because our topsy-turvey life was settling down a little. He told me not to cry, he didn't like crying women, I said "well you like me", and he admitted that, yes, he did.
Yesterday, the 31st day of January 2011, Rick worked his first full day as the Meat Department Manager at Smith's and I think life is looking pretty darn good. Mom is improving, Rick will be home with us and when he gets over the shingles (yep the stress got to him) he will way happy too.
Like I said on Facebook this morning "February first, time to get moving. So many good things to enjoy".