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“These are happy tears!” I had to call out to Dean as I ran downstairs, laughing while I sobbed. Otherwise he would have looked at me, wondering what had gone wrong.

“I just booked our kids on a one-way flight to Halifax.”

I hadn’t expected this to make me cry. I spent the half hour on the phone arranging their unaccompanied minor flights, happily posted this news on Facebook, stating it was ‘absolutely surreal after 16 years away from home.’ And then I read that statement and something in me let go.

We are going HOME.

We are moving our entire lives across the country. And for the first time in a long time, my tears are happy ones.

It’s been a tough road. We have a life here, amazing friends, great memories, and a practice full of families that I truly love. I have grieved over all of the people we will miss many times, and deeply.

Even yesterday, as I drove home from work with Audra, I had a quiet cry over some of the good-byes I had said that morning. I didn’t think she’d notice the tears on my cheeks from the back seat – but she did.

“Mom, are you crying?” she asked, turning her music off.

“Yes”, I replied.

Why?!” she asked.

“I’m crying over all the people I am going to miss in my practice,” I said.

“But you’ll get new people in Nova Scotia,” she offered without pause, making me laugh at her quick-thinking and pragmatic mind.

“And it can’t be as hard as all of the times we’ve had to say good-bye to our family.”

WOW. Yes, that summed it up in a nutshell.

It is very hard to go – as a matter of fact, this move might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In my practice, the outpouring of understanding, mixed with tears and hugs has unexpectedly made this the most humbling experience I’ve ever had. I am humbled to my core to see how much my love for my practice has been very much a two-way street. (And that’s not even touching on the friendships that will now become long-distance.)

The truth is that we are going TOWARDS something that we want more than anything else in the world: to raise our children around family. My heart fairly explodes at the idea that my 4 nieces and 1 nephew are young enough that they won’t really remember a time in their life when Auntie Amy didn’t live nearby. The joy that I feel when I think of all the times Ethan and Audra will get to have with my parents, their cousins and their aunts and uncles is indescribable.

We don’t yet know for sure if we even have a home to move into… (our offer is pending!). I don’t know how long it will take me to build a new practice. There are so many unknowns right now that I can’t even begin to list them all.

But we are going HOME. After 16 years away.

So am I crying tears of joy? You bet I am.