I put it off for SO LONG. I didn't want to do it. I kicked and screamed and cried. But the longer I stayed, the harder it was to leave.
So I got in my car and forced pedal to the metal, leaving the Land of the Gypsies behind me.
Looking back, I feel almost silly at how I reacted to the news we were moving to West Virginia. We had just moved from Maryland to Wisconsin three months earlier (don't worry, there was a plan) and I wasn't looking forward to being back in the area. Or, at least, if we could be in Maryland again maybe I'd survive.
But WEST VIRGINIA? I happen to LIKE my teeth, thankyouverymuch.
Early in our stay I still remember tuning into "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" - a show I had so been looking forward to watching. Ray was at work on night shift, so I was alone.
Snuggled on the couch, it was late at night as I tuned into TLC. The first image appeared on and I thought "weird, that looks like the sign up the road." Spitting out my drink, I was HORRIFIED to see the words "Martinsburg, West Virginia" appear on my screen!
Rushing to facebook, I immediately sought solace from anyone who was up at that hour. My new friend, Kristin (from Maryland), commented on my post that she, too, was awake and tuning in now. We continued to watch the show "together" on facebook in total shock. I believe at one point I even had real tears.* My husband did not live this down for a long time.
You want to know a secret, though?
Turns out I kind of like West Virginia.
Or at least I like my friends, my church, my stores, my restaurants and my house (kind of).
So, it is with great sadness, West Virginia, that I must bid adieu. At least for now.
Before I go, I would like to say thank you. Because of you I went to hell and back again and survived. Because of you I learned how to stand on my own without school creating a natural connection with others. Because of you I leaned on God and my husband for support and not an external source. Because of you I had to become a better mother.
So thank you. Thank you for solidifying my marriage; for healing me of my postpartum depression; for strengthening our faith through our INCREDIBLE church; for growing my daughter into the girl she is today; for teaching my daughter to love God.
Most importantly, thank you for giving my new baby girl. In fact, this area (Maryland and West Virginia) has given me BOTH my beautiful, incredible daughters. This area has doubled my heart.
As for the gypsies? Well, turns out they're kind of a hoot. Not to mention the fact I kind of enjoy watching the show and recognizing all of the places they have gone, including my favorite town of Shepherdstown, WV (as frequented in the spinoff series - Gypsy Sisters).
A certain song that has followed me through life from high school, to college, law school, Africa, and beyond, comes to mind.
Fight the Break of Dawn
Tomorrow I'll be gone
Tomorrow comes with one desire
To take me away it's true
It ain't easy to say goodbye
Darling please don't start to cry"
Till we meet again, Wild and Wonderful. Till we meet again.... Now here's to all the friends I haven't met yet.
*I find it important to note that at that time Kristin falsely believed I lived in Hagerstown, MD, with the rest of the crew. So when the show showed Hagerstown we were also appalled but it wasn't until she was cutting my hair later that she said (and I quote) "You don't actually LIVE in West Virginia, though, right?... OH HONEY NO!"