Sometimes, I think about writing our old neighbours a thank you letter. I haven't and I won't, but there is no doubting that what they put us through led us here, and for that, I am grateful.
Because here is good - better than good, actually, the stuff of dreams.
It took much longer than I expected to recover from the anxiety and burnout caused by the dreadful combination of stressful and insecure housing and a work schedule that was far beyond what my tapped resources could handle. In fact, it was only in the last few months that I was able to sleep through the night without being woken by panic attacks or that I felt I had a tenuous hold on work and home life. The children are more free and far happier than I remember them being. Even Kevin, who so often has the weight of the world on his shoulders, seems lighter.
Though 6 months on, I still catch myself holding my breath, waiting for something to go wrong. I expect someone to complain about us, or simply think the worst of us and that the happy life we are building here will be taken away.
At those moments, I try to remember to open my eyes and be thankful for all that we have right now. Thankful for the abundance and beauty, for the quiet and the noise, and mostly thankful that we are together...because in the depth of those bad days, that wasn't always a certainty.
And while I do wish we didn't have to go through all of that to get to here, I am slowly coming to a place where I can look back on those bad days and see them through a lens of gratitude.