Where we choose to live

This has to be quick. It is Saturday and I'm supposed to be working. This is a big deal because when I work on a weekend Susan has to work too. I haven't posted here for a bit but I have a couple of posts knocking around my head. I feel like I won't be productive if I don't get something written out here. Spoiler: This post ends on a bit of a morbid tone.

So I got to spend quite a bit of time with one of my closest friends last weekend and as we were driving somewhere he says, "I don't know why I don't spend more time with the people I love". The context was that aside from his nuclear family, most of his dearest and closest friends live far away. This is something I've struggled with. I'm working actively to make seeing family and my close friends a higher priority. It is tough financially and from an effort and planning standpoint and while I wouldn't say I was failing, I wouldn't say I was succeeding either.

This raises a bigger question for me which is, "Why do we choose to live where we do?". I won't do a lot of history, but Susan and I lived in Northern Virginia when we met and married. We say we felt a lot of "push" factors from there and that is true, although I think they may have been more internal and about us than about the place than we usually talk in terms of, but perhaps that is a post for another day. We chose the Springs for a variety of reasons. We felt a strong pull to be close to one of our sets of parents, but at the time thought that if we did that it would probably be it and we wouldn't ever try somewhere else just for us, but that if we went somewhere just for us now that we would have enough of a pull perhaps to move us nearer our parents in the future. Did that make sense? I like the Springs a lot. I have no roots here other the ones I'll explain in the next paragraph. Susan has some really great friends here. After roughly eight years here I have some people that I think could possibly be on the fringe/verge of becoming good friends. We have the church now and I'm attached to Susan having the choir because she loves it so much.

We aren't and haven't seriously talked about moving for a long time, so please don't think that is what I'm getting at here, but in general I can easily say that I would like to live close to my parents. I would also like to live close to Susan's parents. We can't have both, but we could choose to have one. There are a bunch of reasons that moving is hard for everyone and we have those like all people do. Here is where cancer comes in though. We have a bunch of additional reasons that moving would be hard. We really like and respect and have a great working relationship with Nathan's doctors here. Now there are good doctors in lots of places, but we have heard a lot of horror stories about pediatric oncologists in smaller communities and even in communities comparable in size to the Springs. I don't want to give up having doctors and a clinic close that we are comfortable with, and just as importantly that Nathan is comfortable and at home with. There is also the general stress factor. Nathan is in a great place healthwise, but there is an underlying stress that is inescapable for any cancer family. There would be benefits to being close to parents/grandparents though. There are the clear emotional benefits to everyone. There is also the selfish benefits that are one of my biggest regrets for not having moved close to family. Those are the ability to have built-in help and a means to escape with Susan. We have friends that would watch our kids. We have people that truly love our kids and us here, but it isn't the same as having parents to drop your children off with and say, "We really need/want to get out of town alone for a weekend". So there are those obvious benefits, but I doubt I could handle well the additional stress of even thinking seriously/considering a move. I barely hold on as it is (that is another post I'm working on).

So here is where things turn horribly morbid, but I can't help but think about them. If we stay here the more likely it is that we will lose Nathan while we live here. I don't pretend to know what it would be like to lose a child and how I would feel and react, but I don't know if I could leave here very easily if we lost Nathan here. I doubt I would have much attachment to a physical resting place, but I wouldn't rule that out. Right now all of my children's' lives have been lived here. All of my memories of my children involve Colorado Springs being our home. In some ways my perception of my family only exists here in the Springs. If I lost any of them here now, I'm not sure I could leave. Intellectually I know that the people I love live in my heart and I take them with me everywhere, but emotionally they feel tied here to this state. To this city. To this house.

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