[The picture above is of my FAVORITE family, ever!]
Army Wives, Strong Bonds, PCSing and Changes...
I've started writing this several times now. I'm not really sure what's so difficult about it. Probably because my heart is still aching so right now.
I met Stacey through The Frugal Army Wife page. She was just starting her bow making page and I was just starting the FAW page. I am, literally, twice her age. But I have never seen her as my "younger" counterpart, she has always just been an amazing friend! Opening her heart and home to me, sharing her amazing family with me, and sharing with me our lives as "Army Wives"!
Stacey is the wife of an EOD Soldier. She and her husband, Danny, have three little ones (lovingly referred to as "The Littles"). When we met she was pregnant for the youngest and Danny was getting ready to deploy. My husband was deployed at the time and my oldest son, who was then stationed at Fort Campbell, lived with me. I had just come out of being burned pretty badly by a "friend", so I was in no hurry to seek out a friendship that had any depth to it.
We hit it off so well I was scared that I would once again get hurt. So I reserved myself and took my time. When we did begin to spend more time together it was an immediate connection. She understood me like no one had in quite some time. Our friendship developed quickly and soon it was like we were old friends and had known each other forever.
Stacey was there for me to lean on when my husband was deployed and during the tumultuous days that followed and soon became the unraveling of my marriage. Never judging, just letting me know what she thought and that she was there for me. Those kind of true friends are rare to find.
In turn, I was lucky enough to share Danny's Homecoming with her and tried to be there for them all that I could. I had never attended a homecoming from the outside looking in, so to speak. I had welcomed home my son and my husband, but putting myself behind the camera and looking at it all unfold was a totally different experience. I feel so honored to have been a part of it.
Now, with Danny's PCS to Elgin AFB, there will be no more deploying for him and as my marriage comes to an end, it all seems so different. No more coffee at the kitchen table and chatting about Army life as we know it. No more walks along the Cumberland River while we tried out best to walk off our frustrations.
I'm not sure what's hitting me harder.... losing her constant strength nearby to get me through the tough times, or knowing this is the end of one chapter of my life and the beginning of another?
We will be "forever friends"! There will be emails, text messages, photos, Facebook, Skype, phone calls, letters, etc., but the times shared at Fort Campbell are no more.
Although my heart is filled with sadness as I write this, I have no doubt it comes through that we have a great friendship. Built on common bonds, and although those things are no longer shared, I cannot imagine my life without the Kinney Family.
I see trips to Florida to visit. (We've already planned a day of treasure hunting at the beach with the Littles!) We know there will be lots to fit in on our visits, and that's alright with us. Because if you learn one thing as an Army wife it's how to adapt, go with the flow and survive!
And so begins a new chapter of our lives....