First of all, I’d like to say that I’m sorry if I haven’t been in touch with you for a while. Life has been FULL! We have news that we’d like to share with you all.

Most of you know that Blaine was displaced from his job in October 2010 and was given an 18-month temporary position and a 16-month severance package. He began interviewing with a company in another city from May-August of last year and was offered a job in October. He began his new post on November 21 and has been commuting 3+ hours/day. And, although very grateful to have a job in this economy and at his age (you all know that is a true fact!), the reality was that we would have to move closer to that job. I grieved, unlike almost 10 years ago when both our sons Wes and Andy were killed, but still I was in denial, then angry, tried to bargain, yes—some depression (during the holidays I always fight it anyway), and finally acceptance.

Blaine was off for two weeks in November before beginning his job, so we took a few days while Hope was in school to begin scanning the areas around the new city. It never felt quite right—too busy in one area, and we didn’t care for another area because of the racetrack…we’re just not Nascar fanatics!

At the same time my sister Velda’s health was declining. She began having trouble walking last spring, and after physical therapy in May and again in September, it became obvious that PT was a temporary “fix”—she fell in late October and thankfully was not injured, but her neurologist gave orders for a wheelchair. The assisted living facility told me that they understood that we were trying to get our house on the market and move, and they would do their best to keep her until then. Because Sister (what I’ve always called her as I couldn’t say Velda as a young child) became sedentary (all she can do independently is feed herself), she began to gain weight, and this made it even more difficult on the nurses and CNAs at the facility, but the administrator was still so gracious. In late December, however, a CNA injured her back and it became apparent that I had to make a quick decision about where Sister would now live. Again, with the facility administrator’s great care and helpfulness (honestly, they truly loved my sister), we were able to find a bed available near the new city. We moved her on Friday, January 13, and she has settled in nicely with the exception of breaking a tooth–her teeth are very brittle from so many meds and lack of good daily hygiene.

Now for the next part of this long story—some of you may have already read to the bottom of this post, and I wouldn’t blame you as I know the storyteller in me just can’t help but give all the details—that has a happy ending for our new beginning. After the call came that Sister would now be moving, I decided to look at homes in another area near the new city. A home popped up on an Internet site in a town 15 minutes from my sister, 33 minutes from Blaine’s work, and just a little over 1 hour from our present home. We saw it, tossed and turned several nights, looked again a little over a week later, prayed, lost more sleep, prayed some more…I truly didn’t think we’d make a decision to buy a home before we sold our current one, but we did! So within one week, we moved my Sister to skilled nursing (and this part is sad and just not fair for her, but she is happy and well-taken care of), bought a home, and had a sign put in our yard. I have been bone-weary but am very excited about what I’ve learned about our new neighborhood.

Part 4: I found out on Monday that my best friend from first grade, one of mine and Blaine’s matchmakers, and a bridesmaid in our wedding lives 5 minutes from our new home. Then, on Thursday as I was driving home from going with Sister to the dentist to have the broken tooth extracted, I called another childhood friend who I thought lived nearby. She lives 7 minutes from our new home!

So, after wallowing in self-pity for two months, thinking that we’d have no one who would know us, know our story, be the kind of support that you have been for us, God has again showed me that He does have a plan! Blaine commented one night last week, “You know Beverly, I think that this is supposed to be the next chapter in our lives.” I think he’s right. Our daughter Hope has handled this remarkably well and is excited too. Folks in the area say the school where she will attend is wonderful, and we’ll pass by cows and silos and fields of hay on our 5 minute drive each day.

It’s good to begin ‘new chapters’, isn’t it? At my age, which is ripening by the day, I find myself wanting to fight change, to become ‘set in my ways’, to even get a bit lazy. I don’t think that’s what we’re supposed to do with life until we’re forced to (we physically just wear out…or until we die) and then, I believe, our real chapter begins.

~Beverly Burton

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