Just days after that, I took off for Austin, Texas, and the Convio Summit. Convio is a content management system used by non-profits (remember...I'm a website/social media geek?), and they have a conference (or summit as they call it) each year talking about product development, improved usage, etc. It was a good chunk of time for me to focus on professional growth and fresh ideas/approaches for the website/organization for which I work.
From Austin I flew to OKC to my parents' house for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was nice to have three days with my parents and just me. I looked at mom at one point and said, "This is the first time we've seen each other in 18 months that is not related to me having cancer!", which frankly was great! Chris and girls arrived on Sunday then the real whirlwind began:
- Monday: Official college visit for Mackenzie to Oklahoma State University, my alma mater...so fun!
- Tuesday: Open house for Oklahoma friends from high school, college, and life in general...again, so fun! Family from Texas starts to roll in...specifically the Holybees. :)
- Wednesday: More family rolls in including my 89-year-old Mema who is doing great...more fun!
- Thursday: Thanksgiving...a day of thanks and food and family. Enough said.
- Friday: Most family leaves, a bit of shopping, and more Mexican food.
- Saturday: Back to Virginia
NOTE: Not previously mentioned in this post, but part of the deal for us when we go to Oklahoma to visit, is for Chris to have Mexican food as much as possible. It's just better Mexican food there, people. And free tortillas before any meal at all of these delicious restaurants...doesn't happen in Virginia like that!So that's the logistics of the trip....the emotional? Exhausted, thrilled, meloncholy, homesick (for VA and also OK), overwhelmed, happy, anxious....then back to exhausted.
You can go home again...but it's always different. Landmarks change, people change, I changed. Some of this for the better and some not.
I was glad to talk about my thyroid cancer or lack thereof with anyone who would listen. I would rather people ask me about it than people completely avoid it, which is what three family members did. I wasn't offended but...shocked? Sad? Did I look that good (ha!) that they didn't even remember it? Did they not know what to say? Just ask me how I feel, I'll show you the scar on my neck, as I'm very proud of it, tell you I'm doing well, no recurrence, and we'll move on. Anyway...still processing that.
Since returning back home to Virginia, I am more reflective of the things I should do more (like call my Mema) and more aware of the things I am appreciative of (my own bed, my dog). And for my life...it's mine. 41 years of ups and downs, challenges and wins, situations that I thought I could never overcome and did. It's not over, it's not perfect, but it's my life...