Home again, Home again, Jiggidy Jig
My July trips have been wonderful and yielded memories I shall never forget. My week at the beach was so relaxing. It was especially nice to be there with my hubby, who deserved a vacation so much. I also loved spending time with my sister and brother-in-law and dog rescue buddy and friend, Roberta. My idea of a fun day is hanging out on the beach, finding treasures in thrift shops, and eating fresh seafood and I did it all. I returned home for 2 nights and then traveled to my alma mater for more fun. In April, I had the most surprising 60th birthday surprise dinner. For those of you that know me well know that surprising me is not an easy task. I come from a long line of curious women…where we peeped out of the blinds every time we heard a car ride by our house. This birthday was truly a special one because I was alive to be here. No words can explain the miracle of that. It had also been 6 years since my initial diagnosis. It was incredible to see those that I love so much take the time to celebrate with me. Blessings have a way of continuing and I had the blessing of paying this gift forward this week when I took my friend, Beth, on a mystery surprise trip to our “roots.” Beth and I met at Camp Easter-in-the-Pines when we were camp counselors in the 70’s. The camp was for children and adults with disabilities. We both were students at UNC-Chapel Hill and continued our friendship there and here in Charlotte when we both left our small towns of Saxapahaw and Snow Hill. We worked at the same agency for many years and lived together. If any of you have ever worked at a camp you know that you become very bonded as a staff there and we all certainly did. Many of us traveled together and those of us at UNC formed a youth group on campus to continue our desire to promote services for children and adults. The camp experience had a huge impact on us all. Between just the 4 of us in the picture, we have continued to work in this field of service for more than 100 combined years as physical therapists, recreation therapists, special education teachers and case managers. We had some crazy times, as you can imagine, during the ’70s (I was quite the hippie with my earth shoes and long hair). Just in case you are thinking what a good job I do of staying in contact with those I love, let me assure you that is definitely a myth. I have been terrible at this. But, like many other things in my life since cancer, I have tried to change that. So, I surprised Beth and arranged to meet some of our “old” buddies and we had a blast. We ate at all the “old” places and it was fun to be able to afford to stay somewhere other than a dorm (thank you, groupon). One of the things that always amazes me is the ability of some people to understand the emotions of being a survivor without experiencing cancer and these friends had such insight. Of course it is impossible to understand the fear and pain and depth of emotions, but I have found that those that are willing to go there with us are such a comfort to me. The best part of the mystery birthday event was seeing the happiness on the birthday girl’s face and I feel very fortunate to have that gift on a day that it wasn’t even my birthday!
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