This week has been filled with friends, friends and more friends. It has been such a blast. The girls have been having sleepover after sleepover. They are each at one now and each have a friend coming over tonight! Chaz and I have been able to catch with many of our friends. I got to have a few lunches and coffees with different friends and then came my favorite night of all....bunco night!! I have definitely had my fill of eating away from home though. Those who know me know I do not like processed foods. It's actually a big source of humor between me and my friends. I am a home cooking girl! I get many jokes about me and my crock pot! ;)
We know how blessed we are to have so many wonderful people in our lives. But we love how we are constantly reminded again and again of that fact! We could not have made all this work without them. One of the best parts about coming home is seeing them all again and being reminded about how blessed we are. Of course the blog from last month is always brought up when our friends stop by for a check in. It's so funny to see our friends and how fired up they get about things. It shows me how much they love our family. The best part is the laughs we have had over it. But they all bring up the blog to make sure we are ok and that we realize those opinions are the opinions of a minority not majority. Our friends care about us so much, they want to make sure we are still on our path and that we haven't let anyone deter us. I think they'd band together for a witch hunt if someone actually messed with us. It is so awesome to know so many people have got our backs!
This journey has also been a lesson in defining what friends are. I am sad to say we have lost some friends along the way and perhaps we'll lose more (I really hope not). I always say God knows who needs to be there so you have to just let him lead them in and out of your circle. I watched people who I thought would be here by my side the whole time totally disappoint me and disappear. Chaz and I have come to realize some people just cannot handle that Chaz has been hurt. It is too much reality for them. Reality sucks, that is for sure. I know a lot of people don't see things they way Chaz and I do. We are so thankful he is alive, we're not wasting any more time on mourning for what we've lost. It is hard for some people to understand the only thing that has changed is that Chaz lost his legs. We are the exact same people. Chaz's injuries are hard enough to deal with we made our peace with the loss of his legs a long time ago and decided to move on. I truly understand some people just can't do that, but I think people get stuck in their tunnels and forget that things can always be worse. We are all humans and we all process things differently. We still love each and every one of our friends, but life has just put them on a different path now. Chaz and I know January 22 didn't just effect our little family. The ripples of what has happened to us can be seen all around us and I think some effects of this we'll never see. We can only hope there are more positive than negative ones.
One of my favorite comments was from my friend who said, "I cried for you. I know you are not a crier, which of course made me cry more." Then there's the story of my two friends who got in an argument over me and how I was handling it all at the beginning. Let's call them Sue and Ann, because those are the first names that popped into my head. Sue and Ann's kids attend the same school that our girls went to. Around February I get a call from Sue, she tells me she has to apologize because she thinks she spoke out of her bounds. I said ok, explain?! She tells me that she and Ann had seen me that morning. I told her I remembered that. She said after I left the school, Ann said "There's just no way she is dealing with this as well as she thinks she is and what does she have to smile about?!" Sue said, "I am not sure what the look was on my face, but I seriously wanted to hit her." Then Sue said, "I told here, "I guess that goes to show how well you actually know Jessica and what it's like to be an Army Infantry wife." Sue went on to say, "Our guys usually don't come back from that, that's why she's so happy." Sue then said she had to leave because she went to her car and cried. She said she was just so mad. Of course it didn't help at all Sue's husband was deployed at the time and that he does the same job as Chaz. She said she waited until she calmed down a little to call and tell me.
I think my favorite stories come when my friends call, text or email that they saw someone else in a Team Allen shirt. You can hear in their voices how excited and proud they are to see those shirts out places. It's always interesting to hear where they saw a shirt. I really like the stories where they go up and make a connection with the person about how they know us. These stories always fill my heart with joy. Chaz thinks it's just unbelievable. Every time he hears a story he says, "No way" or "Nuh-uh." The man is just too cute I tell you!
I am sad to say this is our last weekend in Tennessee for a while. We have some ideas of when we want to come back, but of course we have to go through the powers that be. I know I said before, but I'll say it again. This trip home was exactly what the doctor ordered. We are so blessed! It is so great to spend time with so many people who love and support our family. I am so thankful to have so many great people in our lives that just want us to get to that finish line and get back here. We have laughed about how if we just don't get on the plane how many different people could hide us from the Army. Then come the kidnapping threats. Yes we've had friends say they were going to kidnap us, just so we could stay here. I have to keep reminding my friends to look at how fast this year has gone by. We'll be done with all of this before we know it, we just have to keep pushing through. With our great support system in place we cannot fail that is for sure!
Friend-a-palooza has been so much fun! Chaz and I both were super tired two nights in a row from all the excitement, but it was a great kind of tired. You know it's the tired you get from having too much fun, they kind of tired you want. I can't wait to get back for another dose of friend-a-palooza.