I miss America. I miss my family. I understand why many people can only do two back-to-back overseas assignments before they want to go home.
But this has been an experience. I will always remember my two years here. I will be a better person because of this adventure. My horizons have been broadened immensely. Even though I knew things before, I truly know them now. I know that ...
- 99.9% of Muslims are peaceful, wonderful, beautiful people that dislike terror as much as 99.9% of Americans do.
- America is very small in the grand scheme of the whole world.
- we are an incredibly blessed country and people.
- military families are amazingly awesome and strong.
- I am capable of much more than I ever thought I was.
So, what will I most miss?
I will miss seeing new things, (like a toothbrush head in a vending machine at the airport):
Reading translations of the English language (you can click here for another post I did with many examples) that make me smile, (like this one in the packet of communication cards they gave Patty to use when she was in the hospital) ... (I just don't understand why they don't get someone to read the translations and edit them before printing final copies):
I will miss my gardening team: Ilhan, Halil, Ayreef, and Faree. Abigail is absolutely in love with Faree who is our main gardener over in Eagle housing. He helps me with anything I need during the day while JB is gone. Brings in my groceries, cleans up our toys, washes our car, takes out trash. He especially loves to hold Abigail. Elijah told him yesterday, "Faree, you're my best friend." Fifteen dollars a week doesn't seem nearly enough for everything he does for us.
I will miss the roses that the gardening team bring me as a gift. When they prune, they'll often bring me a bunch to put in the kitchen. They've probably done this a half dozen times in our two years here, and each time, they bring me such joy.
Wonderful, awesome, fantastic women like some of the women pictured in this photo below. Everyone on Base has such a similar attitude. "We are all in this together. We are all we have. We are each other's family." People are so willing to go the extra mile, all the time. This group below, only touches the surface of the wonderful gals in my life here.
Riding and walking everywhere. The picture below is of the boys riding their bikes to the BX on a night that Shane and Linda were watching the boys. My boys ride these three-wheelers everywhere. They are very good on the bikes and stop at all intersections. People get a real kick out of our family -- Abigail in stroller or in Bjorn and boys on bikes navigating our way all over the Base, especially since our car got shipped out last month. We walk to the grocery store, the BX, JB's work, the library, church ... I love it.
Hatice. Just one word. Without a doubt, when I think of leaving, leaving Hatice is the hardest part. She has no passport. Her ability to visit us is nerely non-existant. I hope to see her again but am not sure I will. And far away from family, Nene Hatice has become Abigail's surrogate Grama. I will miss her so deeply it hurts me -- physically. She and I have agreed not to talk about. Not to say good bye. We just have to pretend it isn't happening.
This is just a few of the things I will miss. The list is far from exhaustive. I will always have a very special place in my heart for this country. I wouldn't ever want to live here always. It is not home. But it's people and memories will remain in my heart forever.