Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We're Home!

At long last, we're home. It seems like a very long time since I've lived in my own home. After spending the better part of a week in the hospital and then three weeks away at the retreat, this is unfamiliar territory. I apologize for not updating any sooner. I did not have internet while I was away. that was certainly different for me.

The picture above is what we came home to last year. A sudden gust of wind or small tornado, we never did find out for sure, had hit our yard. It took down our big Leland Cypress tree and placed it across our fence as well as our neighbor's fence. It also totally tore up the above ground pool which we simply had to remove.

I had an unexpected and wonderful surprise after I got out of the hospital. Wesley, Bethany and Maggie "popped in" for a visit for the weekend. It was wonderful to see them and even better to visit and see all the progress that Maggie has made.

We had all planned to go to church the last Sunday here, but the weather took a real turn for the worse. Wesley, Bethany and Maggie had to get home as when her dad called them early that day it was already sleeting where they live. A quick check on the weather and we determined that I had to leave much earlier than expected. We quickly threw our things in the van and bugged out to arrive before the snow came. We were able to get there and get to the grocery store and get the van unloaded. Poor Maddie and Julianna unloaded the majority of the van in a pouring rain . They were absolutely soaked by the time that they got everything inside. Then the expected happened. The temperature dropped very suddenly, the rain froze and the snow began. Within an hour we had 2 inches of snow on the ground. We were so thankful that we got there and settled in before the snow storm hit.

The first week was great. Some of the activities that were planned had to be restructured due to the amount of snow which hung around till midweek. The kids had a wonderful time reacquainting with their friends, attending planned activities and swimming. I got a chance to rest and recuperate. I really didn't feel much like participating in the activities so much as my energy level was pretty low after just lying around in the hospital the week before. So I took the opportunity to just rest. I was so glad that others came to my unit to visit. It's a good thing that we were all near to each other as driving was not in the picture, especially with 15 passenger vans. By the end of the week, I was feeling considerably better though and ready to start getting out a bit.

The middle week, Julianna got sick. Slightly odd I know but we have a pediatrician there as well as here. But she is not in on Tuesdays and I wasn't able to locate anyone else who could see her. That of course meant Urgent Care. But none of the Urgent Care Centers there would allow me to wait somewhere other than the regular waiting room which I just couldn't do. I can't run the risk of picking up a rogue infection in a waiting room while I'm on chemo. The wonderful thing about this retreat is the sense of community. In no time at all another mom had volunteered to take her to Urgent Care. This poor lady sat for several hours in the waiting room with my child who had strep throat causing her to be late for her own son's birthday party. That is the way though that people are and why we love this so much. There is nothing that people wouldn't do for each other. By the end of the week she too was feeling better and we began to be able to get out a bit.

The third and final week, Howard was able to join us which was great. There were activities and tours to take advantage of, programs to hear, and time with old friends. We only see these people once a year and this is an event which we all look forward to so much. This year was looking pretty iffy but God pulled it off anyway. I can't even begin to tell you how many things had to fall perfectly in place in order for this to happen. It was truly a God thing that this happened this year. I really want to make sure that He gets the credit for this in our lives.

Saying good-bye was so much harder than I thought it would be. This particular set of friends means a great deal to us. This is a group of fellow Christians, homeschoolers for the most part, all of whom have larger sized families. This is the seventh year in a row that we have attended this, missing only the first year. While we "know" each other through email, the yearly in person time really cements our friendships. In all things at this retreat it is God who is given the glory for bringing it all together.

Tina pulls all of this together every year and is seldom given enough credit or thanks for organizing the retreat and making sure that it runs seamlessly, no matter how many kinks there are. She has been a marvelous mentor to so many of us, possessing a tranquil countenance and a faithfulness to God which shines in all of her words and actions. She constantly encourages us but is not the least bit hesitant to speak up and ask the tough questions which challenge our set patterns of thinking. Every retreat is an opportunity for spiritual growth as well as the fun aspect of the weeks. Saying good-bye yesterday was hard. But I thank you Tina for the opportunities you have provided through the years and mostly your loving friendship.

I would be hesitant to even try to name all the other MOMYS who mean so much to me as well. I would surely leave someone out. Through the years you all have provided so much friendship, love, sound biblical advice, a place to safely talk out issues, provided assistance to us all, encouraged us, prayed for us, given loving friendship to my children, provided good influences and worry-free friends to them in the form of your own well raised children, and just plain good company. Thank you all, and mostly to God for bringing us all together.


Anonymous said...

I had an AWSOME time

Tina said...

Cindy, it was so very hard to leave. Many tears flowed for a good number of hours, and again this morning as I read this. I love hearing your sweet drawl echo in my ears as I think of you talking, and I am blessed by the way you take the TIME to talk, to communicate, to share through words - enjoying the beauty of it, not rushing through words; but realizing how powerful and enjoyable they are and how they knit our hearts together. I am so very grateful God has chosen to use His own beautiful scarlet thread to knit our hearts together. (((((Cindy hug))))))))

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