As I write this, I’m feeling an overwhelming amount of emotions. I’m sad, happy, scared, excited, emotional, and I’m sorry. (I will explain further in my blog about being sorry.)
When God closes one door, he opens another, and in this case, he’s opening several doors in our lives.
I was in Arizona getting treatment when the Ag teaching position opened up at Okaw Valley, our hometown, where Wes and I both went to school and where both our parents still live. At that time, it was too much for me to even consider. I needed to focus on my treatments, but after the enormous amount of hometown spirit and support during that extremely tough time, and the fact that our parents would be so close for help, it just seemed like a no brainer that we had to take advantage of this opportunity.
We just had to.
So, when I got home that was the first thing we addressed. Talk about stress and tough decisions!
With that being said, it was and is so bittersweet to think about our kids not seeing our wonderful daycare provider, Wanda, every week who has been so kind and loving. Leaving our next door neighbor Margaret, who has become another great grandma to our children. All of our friends, community members, and coworkers that never stopped supporting us and helping during this difficult time. Everyone has made our lives not only fun and full of great memories, but the love we have experienced here will never be forgotten or taken for granted.
And, last but not least, our students and schools.
Could we really leave them? My choice was easier, my doctors don’t want me to work at all for a year. I guess I really didn’t have a choice, but it was hard for me to admit that I was still too weak and sick to even work part-time. I am much better than before my treatments, but I have a long way to go. I want to provide for my family and I want to do what I LOVE, and that is teach. I have grown so attached to my students, their parents, and my coworkers. I can’t imagine not living near my students that have already graduated, the faces of the ones that signed up to have me next year, and the possibility of finding tons of extremely talented students in the future at NCHS. That was my home, my other family, and my students were my other kids. Not being able to be there for them when they are struggling with their art projects, or just life in general, breaks my heart. And for that, I am sorry. I’m sorry I won’t be able to continue what I started with them and see them grow and learn all about them, their dreams, and their endless possibilities. It makes me incredibly sad regardless of the way I was treated by administration there, I would never want to leave my students.
And Wes had an even tougher decision. Did he really want to leave something he had established and grown comfortable with? He had become family not only at the school, but in the community, as well. He is so respected and has impacted so many students lives over the years that it was a very hard decision to make. Trust me. We outweighed the positives and negatives, prayed a lot about it, and after that, we just knew that we needed to go home.
We have peace with our decision. We put our house on the market last Friday. We have been searching for a home in the Okaw Valkey school district, but the options are limited and few and far between. Parker is excited to start preschool, he’s getting so big and we have daycare lined up for Amelia when we do move.
Honestly, I have always imagined my life differently. Of course, I never thought I would be sick, but I also never thought we would end up in the same town I was so desperately ready to graduate from and leave as a teenager. Now, all of this seems so right.
I know that God has a plan. I know that we are doing what He wants us to do, but sometimes it can be overwhelming emotionally and physically. I have to remind myself, it’s on His time schedule not ours. I won’t work for a year. I’m positive that my body will appreciate my doctors pushing for that. I already have had several doses of overdoing it and end up paying for it for days later. It’s not pretty and I didn’t go through 8.5 weeks of extremely aggressive treatments to backtrack. No way.
So, we have many doors opening. We have many options. We are blessed and thankful for our past jobs and relationships, but we are also excited for the new ones. We will always keep in touch with our Altamont, Effingham, and Newton families. We will never forget any of you and you will always be in our thoughts. I cannot emphasize how special our friendships are with all of you here, and I can’t imagine not seeing all of you all the time, but we have a peace with our decision and we know it’s for the best. Even though it was the hardest decision of my life, God laid it on our hearts that it was the right one.
We will visit and make many trips back to the Effingham area. No one will be forgotten. We appreciate your support and we couldn’t have done this without you.