Today was perhaps the hardest day for me (Greg) personally. We had to write down the names of people and memories that we will be saying goodbye to before leaving for the mission field. Suddenly, I found myself overwhelmed with a wave of emotions that I could not contain as I looked back over the past 10 years at our home in Euless, TX. This was the home that our newborn babies came home to from the hospital. This is the home that all of our kids have grown up in, had numerous family movie nights, wrestling matches, birthday parties, and sleepovers in. This same house comes complete with measuring marks etched upon an obscure doorframe each year our kids grew an inch taller. Yes, we will be leaving behind some close friends and family, but there are a lot of good memories that I will forever miss. I will miss the Saturday mornings for the past 10 years I have taken my kids to go get donuts and drive to the airport to watch airplanes take off. I will miss the bike rides up and down our street and on our driveway with the kids. I will miss the countless hours spent in our backyard swimming pool during the long and hot Texas summers. I will miss playing catch and swinging the bat on our frontyard lawn with my kids. I will miss taking my kids to school just around the corner and picking them up each day. This not to mention 10 Christmases, 10 Thanksgivings, and 10 Easter Sundays spent in our home.
I know there will be new memories made in Albania along with new family traditions. But, thinking back at the past memories will never be replaced, instead will forever become the very fabric of my being. I look forward to the new adventures, the new vacations, and our new home in Albania along with the joys and hurts we will all experience. I'm sure there will be new etchings upon another obscure door in our new home as our kids enter into their teens. There will be more sleepovers, more bike riding, and more opportunities to not only play catch with my kids, but kids from our new neighborhood. I look forward to this new chapter in my life, but I know I will occasionally take a peek at the previous chapters of my life spent in a little white house in Euless, Texas.