Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for moving me from house to house over the course of my lifetime, 12 houses to be exact. Seven in Oklahoma, two in Washington D.C., one in Virginia, and two in Arizona. It seems like a lot, especially for those who grew up with one single place they can call their family home. Moving while not always easy, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

With a new house, and sometimes even a new state, along came a new school district, which meant new friends. Having new friends every few years made the attribute of being adaptable, easy. I have found out now being older that adaptability is a key quality trait to have in life.

Moving to new places sparked the curiosity inside me to travel and see other places in the county, even throughout the world. With moving and not constantly staying stationary, I came to realize how vast and beautiful this world really can be. Thank you for that.

Arriving then leaving to a place to place, time and time again caused my heart to love more but not get too attached... knowing that things can leave or be taken away really easy from me. Probably one of the most important life lessons I could've been taught, guard your heart but love harder.

Nothing is without both pros and cons, as that seems to be a rule of life. But mom and dad, you both always strived to show my sister and I only the pros while masking the cons... even when we felt sad in the moment. Now that I am wiser and older than I was, I realize all of the extra miles you went to make the changes less and less scary. Small things that you might not remember or might not seem significant to you, but really made an impact on me and my ability to adjust.

With each place I moved to, I got to add a chapter to the book that I call life.

Whether the move was 10 miles down the road, or from Oklahoma to Virginia... I understand it wasn't always easy on you either. I understand that just how it hurt us to be away from our friends and family, it hurt you too. But I really hope it didn't hurt you too much. I really hope that knowing I have peace from all of this helps you be at peace with the feeling you might ever so get called guilt because of the moves. I hold no grudges and I actually thank you.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me these life lessons without actually having to teach me any life lessons. You taught me the most important life lesson of all, home is wherever my family is. I am home when I am in your presence and surrounded by your love.

Best,

Your daughter, GracIe