Saturday, August 18, 2012

Making Plans

Sarah (left)
The moment I began to let my few friends know that I was going to be coming back to Colorado shortly, the more real it became. Since June, God had been with me and my family through what most people would have felt their entire life crushed by, cancer. With the exception of our family vacation and my brief return to work before surgery, our world had been consumed by doctor appointments, therapy sessions, insurance calls and hospitals. The peace that I personally felt as such a part of my everyday life could have only come from the Lord being right there with me. That peace was nothing I could concoct on my own.

The friends I called and texted were Sarah, Laurie and Vicki. Vicki had been in contact with my mom throughout the surgery and stint in the hospitals. Mom had been emailing updates on my condition and prayer requests for specific situations to Vicki directly. Vicki was my contact point for anyone else at work to know how I was doing. She sent out great emails to a mass group I had created of people who had requested to be notified so they could be praying. Vicki was great at getting these out for people to know what was going on. Laurie was another co-worker of mine and sat right next to Vicki. We were like the Three Musketeers at work. Where one was, the others were sure to be near. And then there is Sarah. Sarah and I have know each other for several years from going to church together. She was and still is such a great friend. I have watched her children grow up.

All three of the girls were excited I would be coming back. I asked they keep it between the three of them for now until I knew the exact date I would be back. I was so happy of the possibility of going home soon, but to leave my dad and grandparents was going to be tough. They had been such a support system over the past months, and I was going to miss them all.

So, the weekend came and went like a blur. Monday started with physical therapy again with Dr. Christian. We talked about the perspective time frame for leaving for Colorado and he stepped up our session. He was ramping up to send me on my way. So again my session was a complete "drench-fest" with my cool down in the pool. Later that morning, mom and I went to see Dr. Faraday and talked with him about leaving soon. He was on board with  me finishing out my three appointments (counting today) and setting me free to go back. It was exciting that it was all coming together.

So mom, dad and I talked about it and felt that the following week would be best for mom and I to begin our trek to arrive in time for me to be back to work by the 17th. We had our departure date set. Now we had a lot of work to make it happen. We had many details to discuss when we got back as I lived in a third floor apartment and wasn't going to be able to stay there very long, I was going to have to find a new place once we got back. Many other details were going to have to be tackled one-by-one as we could get to them; doctors, therapy, etc. We talked with my grandparents and let them know what we had decided and when we were leaving. Everyone was happy that I was well enough to head back, but sad as that meant that we were not going to be a 15 minute drive away any longer.

Mom found an absolutely fabulous deal on a hotel in Vegas (MGM), so we booked our first night there so we could break our trip back up into small chunks as not to make it too hard on me. Even though Vegas was not on the southern route home, we had a route in mind that would still get us back on the southern route after leaving Vegas. I wasn't fond of traveling through Utah, so we tried to make our trip go through Arizona and New Mexico is possible. I had a good sense of navigating us throughout the mountains and the desert, so mom trusted my plan for the trip home.

The consignment chair for recovery.
Mom and I met with our grandparents for one last "happy hour" dinner at The Claim Jumper the night before we were set to leave. We had fun and laughed and joked. We talked my grandfather into taking a look at apartments for rent that might be on the first floor as we drove back. That gave him something to research, and he LOVES to research stuff on the computer, this was a great fit for him. Grandma was going to follow our progress on the map. She loved to figure out where we were and where we might be by a certain time of day, so that had her occupied for a few days. Dad was the only one that didn't have a job to do while we were gone. He was perfectly content with watching Fox News, working in the yards (front and back) and listening to Leo LaPorte the Tech Guy on the radio.

Now that everyone had their stuff to do, mom and I got ready with all our stuff to leave the next day. In the morning mom began to prepare the car with all of our belongings and the new chair that we had bought for me to sit in at the house. I was going to need this new chair at my place too, because there was nowhere for me to sit when we got back to Colorado. Dad helped mom get the chair in the car and she continued to work on getting the car packed just right. Mom had a knack for packing the car so that we could to the things we needed during the trip in the daytime, we could get the stuff we needed for the hotel stay from the back in the evening, an then repack it again each morning. There were so many things to take back with us that the chair caused a lot of packing issues, so it took a lot longer for her to pack it than we had thought it would take. Our time frame for leaving we way off by now and we were not going to get to Vegas before dark. So, we had to adjust our plans slightly in getting out of town.

My grandparents came to the the house to say goodbye one last time. Mom was a little frazzled since it was taking so long to pack the car. She did her best to keep her emotions at bay, but it was just too much for her. She and I finally got ourselves in the car and we were off, 2-3 hours later than planned. But, God knew we needed that extra time for some reason. As we drove away, mom was drying her eyes. We prayed for safety and a good time together on our trip just before hitting the freeway. We knew that without the Lord guiding us, anything could happen. We were off now on November 10th.

Next, "Heading Back to Colorado Part 1."

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Do you and/or your family pray for the Lord to protect you on long trips? Do you had any stories of how He protected you from harm while on a trip?

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