Tuesday, April 07, 2015

East Greenbush, NY

For Spring Break this year, we decided to visit my mom out in New York before she moves to Utah in a couple months.  It has been such a bittersweet trip for me so far.  As I walk these halls, so many memories from such an important time of my life has flooded back to my mind and heart.  I moved here during one of the hardest times I'll hopefully ever have to go through.  Austin had JUST died, I found out I was pregnant (with Claire) at a moment I was absolutely not ready for- I wasn't sure if I wanted to have anymore kids at all after losing my baby, Chris had just deployed- which was fine since I wanted nothing to do with him right then anyway, and I was just in a really, really bad place.  

Even with all the bad things going on, I truly found God here.  This was truly MY turning point.  I felt the atonement change my heart here.  This was where I was supposed to be.

  I WANTED to find God and to repent.  Austin was my drive at first, I wanted to get back to him.  That, and all the love and comfort I felt from Heavenly Father during that time.  I needed to be clean- I needed to repent.  I wanted to know if my church was true.  I NEEDED to know.  I remember sitting in my room at this house reading the Book of Mormon for hours and hours everyday.  I would run into my parents room whenever I had a question, and thought, or just read something that spoke to me.  It brought me so much hope.  What a powerful feeling is such a dark moment.  Although it wasn't really a dark moment, the months following Austin's death were awful, but they were FULL of so much light and comfort.  I remember the nights I laid in my bed praying and feeling so enveloped in warmth.  I felt my Saviors love.

I remember after I went through the repentance process, I was sitting in the car filled with the the spirit, knowing that I was forgiven.  I was clean!  The atonement had saved me.  I remember feeling like the Savior was so close to me at that moment.  Like he was giving me a hug.  This all happened here.

As I reflect on that time period, I feel truly blessed.  I changed during those 9 months.  I started my relationship with my amazing, loving Heavenly Father.  I learned how much he loves me and how invested in my happiness he truly is.  While living here I felt closer to heaven than I could have ever imagined.  

This month marks the fourth year of my sweet Austin being gone.  That boy truly changed our whole family.  He touched all our lives in such a huge, lasting way.  He changed me.  I miss him.  My parents selling this house feels like I'm closing another chapter to Austin's book.  I hate feeling like with every passing year I feel further and further away from him.  He's in my thoughts less than he should be.  His memories are fading little by little if I hadn't written them down.  My kids are reminding me of him less and less.  I truly hate it.  I prefer raw sadness and true mourning over this.  I do love that I see the good in his time here instead of focusing on the sadness of him leaving, but I don't know.  I just wish sometimes that I could walk into my house and see my husband and all four of my kids there playing.  I know I'll see my baby boy again, but I want to feel closer to him NOW.  But instead I'm closing another chapter.  I'm leaving another sacred place to my heart.  Another home.  The last home I connect with him.  So yes, it's bittersweet.  I'm so grateful to be here and to remember how I became the Amy I am today, but I am so devastated that once again I have to say goodbye.