Marks the Spot

I was 36 weeks pregnant and in the hospital’s prenatal ER, the doctors attempting a third medication to get my blood pressure down from 200-something over 100-something, when my husband got the call about his promotion.

We would be moving from Portland, Oregon to Houston, Texas.

This did not help my blood pressure, I can tell you.

I was admitted to the hospital on that trip, listening to the doctors debate for three days exactly what to do about my situation.  And I was personally wondering the same thing, but for different reasons.  I had four kids about to start school.  I was having health problems and about to have a baby.  My husband had been promoted and was about to move 2,000 miles away.

Fortunately, I had a responsive and understanding doctor, so after verifying a week later through amniocentesis that the baby was ready for delivery, she induced me nearly three weeks early so my husband could be with us.  Our son was three days old when my husband left.

We had amazing friends who helped with the older kids in school, brought me meals and helped celebrate my own birthday a week later.  My husband came home on weekends and helped how he could with preparations to move our entire family to Houston.  Though movers were provided with the relocation, there was still so much to do.

We lived like that for almost three months.

And in the meantime – with our house half-packed, the kids facing the uncertainty of a new school, new friends, me in a post-partum fog, and my husband back and forth – our kitty of only four years died of a massive heart attack – literally dropped dead while playing with the kids.  We were devastated.

Did I mention that my blood pressure never did go back to normal after the baby came?

In late November, 2007, we loaded a plane with 10 suitcases, 4 carry-ons, our remaining cat, and 5 kids and moved to the Houston area.  We were a traveling circus.  Though, I must admit, it all went more smoothly than I ever imagined.  I remember getting to our hotel that first night and walking across to the Denny’s at 10 o’clock at night.  We wearily told our waitress, “Hi, we just moved here from Oregon” and watched her curious smile.

We have made friends here.  We have a fabulous home.  My husband’s job is secure.  The kids are doing well in school.  Our youngest son is growing strong.  We are making a life.

And yet, each year at this time, I’ve wondered to myself, “How much longer?”  And I don’t know “how much longer” I’ll wonder that to myself.  Texas is not the home of my heart, though it is my home for now, and after all we went through to get here, I’m grateful that we are together.  I guess I need to remember that it’s family who really marks any spot as home.