We went on a road trip this past weekend — my parents and the three of us. It was a sad occasion. A dear friend to all of us lost his brief battle with an aggressive form of Leukemia. He was a doting uncle to my husband and me and a beloved PapaX to our son.
I will always remember his smile and his hand shakes. His hats and his mustache. But mostly the affection and patience he had with the kid. He would sit side by side with him and teach him how to play solitaire. He was a good egg.
He and his wife served as an example to me of faith and endurance. Strength through physical and emotional pain. Reliance on our Heavenly Father, above all else. She survives him — with most children scattered up and down the east coast — and one of them living close by. I know, from watching her cope with emotional loss, that she will rely on the God of hope until she sees her husband again. But she’s in my heart and on my mind these days.
This weekend is the first time I’ve traveled since my diagnosis. I felt a bit numb the whole weekend — almost like I was watching myself go through all the motions. The emotions weren’t there. Because I don’t think I was ready to process them. This happens to me sometimes … my head comprehends the facts before my heart can accept them.
I was emotional this morning, subconsciously allowing my heart to accept that I’ve lost a close friend. To the same overall disease I am currently fighting. Different ages and different types, I know, but it saddens me the difference in our prognoses.
Until we see him again, we will laugh over our happy memories and our plans for when we are all reunited.
We took our time with our little road trip and took advantage of stopping in at a couple stores we don’t have near us at home. Of course, we needed to stop at Toys R Us for the kid. How in the world do so many toys exist?! And I needed to stop at Michael’s to stock up on stickers for my latest obsession: my Erin Condren planner.
Did you know that there is an event in May just for planners? It’s like this weird, worldwide club! Instagram has hash tags for it. People take pictures of their planners and share it with the “Planner Community.”
I had to go to Michael’s to pick up some stickers. Then I trolled Etsy for hours on the way home until I finally had a sufficient yet not excessive shopping cart total (this has really taken me more like 10 days … stickers get expensive, and once you start, it’s easy to think you need ALL of them. Including the poop ones. I am proud to say that I spend under $50. And I didn’t get the poop ones).
Today I realized why this is so important to me. It is something I am in control of. On a good day, we don’t have much control over our lives. When you throw cancer and chemotherapy into the mix, there is significantly less. But I can plan my days, and I can make it look pretty.
We stopped at the (in)famous South of the Border on the way home (yes, I took that picture up there). As I took the picture, I felt a bit of Wanderlust. The last time we were there was on the first trip my husband I took after we were married. We were set to fly to Florida from Pennsylvania to celebrate our anniversary at the end of September 2001. And then 9/11 happened, so we set off on our first (of many) road trip.
It makes me think of one of my bucket list items — to drive across country. I’ve wanted to do that ever since I read Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle when I was a teenager. Hubs and I want to take the kid when he’s a bit older and will appreciate it. I’ve always had a bit of Wander in me, and I hope to take that great adventure some day.
Thank you, readers, for reading each post. I look forward to your comments below. And tell me, please, what’s on your Bucket List? An epic road trip? An exotic vacation? Let me know in the comments.