Saturday, July 13, 2013

We Somehow Lived...

Where to start...all that has happened in the last month...

People ask us how the move went and how the transition back to America is going, and we respond with, "well we made and we somehow lived."  And I know that each of these people would love a better answer, and one we hope to give one day, but everything that has happened to Chris and I in the last month seems hard to sum up nicely and in a somewhat brief statement.  I can't find words to properly convey the energy and emotion that went into leaving Cambodia and arriving in Denver.

It wasn't hard to sell, give, pack, purge our belongs that accumulated over the past three years.  But it was very hard to see our offices, church, and small little home emptied of our family.  All evidence that we had a wonderful life-- a life of joy, laughs, and a ton of background noise is now packed up and washed away.  There is not even a fingerprint left to say, "Hey, this is where the DeRemers lived."

Our story of leaving Phnom Penh was classic Cambodian in itself. Our internet was already canceled and I had started an online class for my masters and went to Asian Hope's offices down the street to work on some school stuff.  It was Monday afternoon and we had spent the morning in Prek Pneu watching the students in class, sharing one last meal with our staff, and then heading to Logos to say bye to our dear Khmer friends.  That was it the end of the good-byes and no more last meals were to be had with anyone else.  It was 2:00pm when I arrived at the offices and opened my email for the day to find that our airline had emailed us and changed our flight from Tuesday morning to Tuesday afternoon, causing us to miss our connection.  Since we already gave away our phones, I ran home to Chris, told him the scenario and we both went back to solve the problem.  It was 3:02pm when it was decided the only option for us was to catch the 4:40pm flight that day and had to be at the airport in 58 minutes.

With the help of two interns and some staff, we rushed home, packed our remaining things, gave the home one last clean through and were out the door in 35 minutes.  With one last look out our balcony, we said bye to our life and drove to the airport. Arriving at the airport we looked frazzled and teary and you would of thought, "Awww, look at those poor people with no coping skills."

But we lived.  We made our flight.  We left the country that stole our hearts.  We packed a mountain top of stuff, memories, and relationships into what felt like a teacup.  We left with four bags and some tender hearts. It was challenging to say the least.

Honestly, if words could describe the intensity of that single day, I would tell you all about it.  But they can't.  Words only scratch the surface of how joyful, stressful, and painful, and somehow peaceful that day was.

We took some space and had a long layover in Turkey where we celebrated our 5th anniversary, and had had space and time to mourn Cambodia and gain anticipation for arrival in America.  It was a sweet time for Chris and I to debrief together where there was no pressure to buy a car, find a home, or fill out endless paperwork.  It was everything we needed, and the country was pretty awesome too.

And now we're here, in Colorado, and its been two or so weeks, and I am sitting in a friends house totally speechless.  Since landing Chris has already starting work for the past 10 days, we have gotten phones and a truck, found a home, moved in, and insured the crap out of our life.  Does anyone find it crazy that I now have to have a policy for almost everything I own, wow. We did all the stuff that no one wants to do all in like a 4 day span--HR paperwork, lease signing, Uhaul renting, Geico calling, etc.  But we lived through it, barely.

Some days we feel like we don't belong, and that "we just can't do it."  And others we move along nicely and enjoy having KBCO on the radio.  We both operate at about 70% (which we were told would happen, they were right again...), and feel that everyone in America moves so fast, that they could run circles around us, but with a slow and steady pace we move forward each day.

Once again we are floored by the generosity of those around us who let us sleep in their homes, use their internet, drove through three states to bring us a truck, buy us needed and just plain awesome things.  Those who have made us meals, stored our things, given us rides, and taken care of us over the past 14 days.  The grace you've given us when we burst into tears, or don't know what is going on is beyond thanks.

We catch ourselves just a little stunned by the gravity of it.  Unable to tell you how hard it was to leave or how wonderful it was to arrive.  Unable to paint the picture of how our hearts are both broken and restored.  Our words can't describe the story we have been through and will go through, the story of how God is moving in our lives, and in the world.

Maybe better words will come, and maybe they won't.  But this last month is a treasure for Chris and I to hold on to, a little gift called transition.   Maybe we'll look back and say, "Remember that one month? The one our marriage survived through. The one where, somehow, we lived?"

2Five2 staff on our last day

Good-bye dinner with our Khmer friends

A good-bye gift of a traditional Khmer dress

Last morning watching students

Our Khmer tutor, Vuthey

Dear friend, Tepy

Seeing the Ketchum family in CO one last time before they return to Cambodia

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