Too Precious to Pack

Moving puts what’s precious into perspective.

The crew arrived yesterday morning to pack our worldly possessions up in preparation for the move to Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Categorizing Our Worldly Possessions is Quite the Process

My husband and I are now on our 15th collective move with the Army, four each before we met and seven together (six of them with kids). I would love to say it gets easier or even that we now have a streamlined process.

But that just isn’t true.

The other day, I compared it to childbirth…if you remembered all the gory details, you’d probably quit after the first time. Every move’s unique nuances leave us asking each other, “Didn’t we just do this two years ago?” and “Why aren’t we better with all this practice?”  Unfortunately, there is no epidural to make this kind of torture bearable.Too Precious To Pack

The hardest part is often separating what we want to take with us from what we want to go in the moving truck. Overseas moves are even more confounding:

-hand carried items, hold baggage which goes by plane and generally arrives in about 2 weeks

-household goods that go by ship and can take 6-8 weeks

-sometimes you need to select items that you can do without for the length of your overseas assignment (3-4 years) to put into storage.

Some categories even have a weight limit not to be exceeded for fear of charges.

The process of deciding what we can put in storage always convicts me. If we can do without it for 3 or 4 years, do we really need it? How much of a hardship are you willing to endure without certain items for 2-3 weeks? What are you willing to take the risk of damage or loss of by sending on the truck? But the most telling category is always the things we deem too precious to trust to the government contracted moving company to pack.

What Can You Not Live Without?

This list has ebbed and flowed over the years and will likely continue to fluctuate as our family dynamic and destinations change.

There are a few things, however, we will never pack up. They are beyond precious. I could not do without them for even one second.

When it comes right down to it, these things aren’t things at all.

My most precious things aren't things at all. #PCS #ArmyWifeLife Click To Tweet

They are the people and the memories that have become for us that very place we are leaving. They cannot be shrink wrapped or padded and boxed, for they are stored in our heart. We cannot part with them because they have become an integral part of who we are now.

This is our Army Family

We may not share DNA or blood lines, but are instead bound by shared experiences and a common love for our Soldier which create bonds of inestimable worth. For many of us the desire to make our home near the families of our birth is strong, but there is always comfort in knowing that no matter where we go, we will find an Army Family. These ties become strong quickly because our Army Family is the one that endures hardships and celebrates victories with us daily.

The bonds are not only forged between Soldiers, but also between their spouses. These are the ladies who have watched our bellies grow in pregnancy, or perhaps with whom we have shared a baby shower. Families who share in our misery over what the Army considers acceptable housing. Other wives who know the parts of ourselves we give up to support our Soldier husbands.  Friends who grasp our circumstances well enough to determine with one glance if we are taking care of ourselves.  Ladies who fully comprehend the sorrows of saying good-bye to your husband for a year, the mixed emotions of a two week R&R, the anxiety of finally welcoming home the man of the house and the constant fear that you may not get to. People with whom it is pure joy to reconnect with, if only for a few moments when duty assignments overlap.

Women who challenge, encourage, support and understand us because they have walked a mile, or four, in our shoes.

These are the kinds of relationships that span time and distance. Friends, who, even though they may dislike the Facebook status that says the packers have arrived, know their friendship is much too valuable to box up. It is this family that I have gathered over the years that gives me the strength to move on. Even when it means leaving a part of myself with them until we meet again.

They are too precious to pack.

What do you own that's too precious to pack? #memories #armywifelife Click To Tweet

Too Precious To Pack

9 thoughts on “Too Precious to Pack

  1. Liz, though I am not an Army Wife I have been blessed in my life with some amazing women who are. Your words ring true on so many levels! It was so great to see you before I left, may you and your family continue to grow and extend … and I hope our paths will cross again! xxoo Love, Rebecca

  2. Bless you and all those other Army families who are too precious to pack…..”God be with you ’til we meet again….” Prayers, hugs, & love, Grammy & all

  3. I was way behind on your posts here. I just finished reading everything I had missed over the past few weeks, and I love them all…but especially this one. So perfect!

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