In December of 2005 we loaded up our GMC Yukon and pulled away from Demanade Dr in Lafayett, LA for the last time and we headed north It was such a bitter sweet time that I don't know how to describe it.
I look back at Lafayette and still call it home...its the one place that I've ever fit in. It really was home, it was full of people who accepted and loved me (and still do!) for who I am. It is where my first baby was born, had her first birthday, said her first word, took her first steps, and first taught me what love is! It's a place where one of my best friends in the world lives, with her daughter ,who Hadley will still tearfully tell me "I've never had a friend like Brooke."
I pray for Hadley, a lot, to find another friend like Brooke. Hadley's like her momma on this...Lafayette the place she fit in best. Moving so much has been difficult for her, and she's never bonded with friends the way she did with Brooke. I think that she learned, at a sensitive young age, that things change too fast. I know that God has something special in store for her, though. He has placed such an amazing heart in that little girl, I'm sure she's destined to serve Him greatly! I remind myself of that a lot as I watch her struggle to find where she fits in now. I feel guilty for pulling her roots up and leaving her normal behind, all in the name of getting closer to family.
The ironic part is, we saw family a lot more when we were 12 hours away than we do now that we are a mere 4 hours north. At least when we lived in LA the family that would come visit actually stayed long enough to build relationships, unlike now when they sweep in for 2 hours of time before bed and leave when the sun comes up. My kids believe that's how family works...you see them for 2 hours, every couple of months and they bring gifts. It's no ones fault, it's just how it works out unfortunately.
Geography will probably always be a problem for our family. We will never move back to Centertown or Madisonville and as long as we are more than 30-45 minutes away regular visits with family are near impossible. What I've learned from all this is how important it is to surround yourself with people who love and accept you, if that can't be family it should be friends. Friends become your family.
Friends love you like family, they are there for you through it all, they make you laugh when you cry, smile when you're sad, and hug you when there are no words. Thank God for the wonderful friends I've been blessed with!