Where to start?

It has been approximately two weeks since I updated my blog and so much has happened that I hardly know where to start.

First, Micah's days of testing seemed to go well. He won't know his results for a few more weeks yet, but I think that it is safe to say that he is more than happy to be done and to not have that weight on his shoulders any more.

A week ago Friday afternoon (8/31), I quickly posted my lesson plans and ran through the grocery store to pick up a few things before picking up the boys and making the mad dash home to clean like crazy until my parents arrived. I wasn't necessarily worried about making the place spotless, just didn't really want it to be disgusting either.  I had had a particularly difficult last hour of teaching and was so ready for my parents' visit.  There is just something so calming and reassuring to me to see them, to sit with them and just talk, and I was ready to enjoy the weekend with them.  

Several weeks ago, maybe months really, Micah had been making plans for this particular weekend.  He really wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate my 5 year 'anniversary' of being cancer free  that was happening later in the month.  He is working in Tulsa this month, but didn't know what his weekend schedule would be like and was being very insistent that we go out that particular weekend.  My parents were coming and I tried multiple times to convince Micah that we could do it another day, when my parents weren't here.  All to no avail, so on Saturday around lunch, my parents left with the boys for what I thought was a fun lunch with the grandparents and then my parents were going to meeting up with Micah's parents.  Another side note to all of this:  Micah swore to me that a couple of years ago, I mentioned some restaurant that I would really love to go to and that particular restaurant was where we were going.  I, on the other hand, had no memory of said conversation (side note to the side note:  this scenario is altogether possible.  I have the worst memory and my husband has the best memory). 

So, it is Saturday afternoon, the boys and my parents are gone and Micah and I get ready for our date and head out.  Micah has already told me that fairly soon after we get in the car, he is going to have to blindfold me so that it will be a complete surprise, that there are signs for the place that will totally give it away.  Not long after we get in the car, he tells me to go ahead and put the blindfold on because the first signs are right on the highway.  (Honestly, I know it sounds crazy, but Micah and I had gone around and around about this.  I did not remember mentioning any restaurant. He insisted that I did. He has talked it up enough and it just wasn't worth it to me to argue with him.  At some point, I have learned to just let it go...) We get in the car, and he tells me that he even has made a playlist of songs for us to listen to as we are going....songs that we listened to a lot that summer or that were meaningful to us.  There were some funny songs on there...like "Survivor" by Destiny's Child which made us laugh and there were songs like "Iowa" by Alli Rogers that so often represented France to us in those months, Point of Grace's "Heal the Wound" which never fails to remind me of the good things that God brought to our life in spite of cancer and how I never want to forget those blessings.  As we drove, we laughed and cried and talked and drove in silence as we thought back on those months five years ago when life was so uncertain.

Then, I started feeling a bit nauseated...from all the driving with the blindfold on.  And Micah is telling me that we are almost there and that we are on an 'estate' and he can't wait to see my face and we pull in and park and I am telling him that he needs to make sure and take a picture of me all blindfolded (I am a scrapbooker, after all) and he runs around the car and helps me out and says "okay, you can look" and we are parked in front of my in-laws' house and standing in front of me is a  crowd of almost all the people I love most in this world holding up signs and yelling 'surprise'.  The emotion of it all still takes my breath away (as I sit and have an ugly cry all over again).  My parents and my sisters and their families from Nashville, dear friends that we worked with in France , aunts and uncles, other friends from Nashville and Texas, as well as Micah's parents and my sister in law and nephew and some dear local friends. This is a video from my brother in law:

And here is picture of the group after we made the rounds of hugs:

Melissa posted a bunch of photos from the day on her blog, so instead of reposting them, I will just link you up to her post

My in laws have a beautiful big back yard and even though it was pretty warm outside, we all dragged our chairs out underneath their big shade trees and while the kids ran and played and played and ran, the adults just spent time catching up, laughing at how all my friends have been scared to talk to me for weeks because they thought they might ruin the surprise, laughing at how clueless I have been, and just soaking up time together.   With all the visiting, we kept forgetting to take photos with the actual cameras, but I will forever have snapshots in my mind of what that day was like and there are enough actual photos of certain parts of it to help me remember for a lifetime. 

Later that evening, more and more local people began showing up to celebrate with us.  One of the highlights was when my oncologist, my surgeon and my oncologist's nurse all came.  When you are going through a crazy diagnosis like that and moving to a new town on top of it all, those people (your physicians and nurses) become the people that you see/know most.  I am so thankful for these three people and the encouragement and help that they have been to me in the last five years.

We stayed until it was way past dark, laughing and talking, and soaking up the day.

There really aren't words to describe my emotions from that day.  I know I have said a lot  in this post, but none seem quite adequate.  When we moved here five years ago, we didn't really know anyone and our support system was basically from out of town.  God was so gracious and brought us those out of town people often throughout that summer to encourage us along.  One of the precious things to me from last Saturday was being able to look out and see those dear ones from out of town, but also to see that God has brought 'dear ones' from Oklahoma into our lives as well. 

It was so important to Micah to celebrate this milestone.  When you reach the five year milestone with breast cancer, your chances of recurrence drop significantly.  I remember days when I could hardly imagine being a year out, much less five years.  I feel so incredibly grateful, but it is also bittersweet.  It is hard to  celebrate when my sister is still fighting the fight.  As I hugged her goodbye last Monday, I thanked her for all that she did to help plan my party and that I so desperately want to throw her this party as well. 

I think I changed my mind.  There is a word to describe how I felt that day....loved.
Loved by my husband who had the grand plan, loved by my family and friends who helped pull it all off, loved by my friends and family who traveled many miles to celebrate with us, and loved by my Father who graciously fills my life with good things. 


Vicky said…
I so get you on this- and you said it all so eloquently. Just beautiful- I'm truly soaking in your gracious words. God's continued blessings to you- love - yes me too- so loved.
Christine said…
What an amazing, amazing party... So much love surrounding you!
Anonymous said…
I am so thrilled for your celebration, and for the occasion that it was. And to be absolutely surprised was pulled off as planned. Love ou--sorry we couldn't be with you.
Gma and Gpa E.
Annette said…
Happy Five Years!!! I celebrate with you!

Thank you for being an encouragement to Edwina and we will still keep Melissa in our prayers.

Thanks for sharing.
Lili said…
This is so awesome!! What a wonderful surprise, Becky! And what a beautiful and wonderful family/circle of friends you have!! I'm so happy for you! :)
Amy said…
I've been waiting on this post from you ever since I read about your party on FB. I am so glad your sweet hubby did this for you! Wish I could have been there too! Happy 5 Years! Love you!
LaCombe said…
Becky, You are so Very Very Blessed!!! Love you and sure wish I could have been there for your surprise as well. Prayers and Love, Kathy

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