Kara’s Collection: Homecoming

From an article originally posted November 6, 2013…

We enjoyed every last minute in California. The kids giggled with cousins, and we talked and laughed with our siblings. They introduced us to their favorite cheap Mexican food, their favorite breakfast spot, and their favorite beaches. Disney will always have a special corner of my heart, the happy exhausted place, but the living near family was a gift. I grieved a little that it took us so long to make the trip. Fifteen years to be exact. Josh was Jason’s college roommate, he introduced him to his lovely little sister, and now his best friend is his brother. Isn’t that beautiful? It was so good to be with them last week.

There is just something about a cousin that lets my kids feel safe. I watched my oldest to my youngest play store, sword fight, build sand castles, and laugh endlessly over nonsensical things. I believe it is good for our praying cousins to see us living. The imagination of a child is a wonder, and I’m not sure how they imagined our life. Without question, they have earnestly prayed for us all. This gave them an opportunity to see there is joy in our hard. Much joy, even better they happily joined us in our joy.

I grew quiet as we drove home from our final beach jaunt. We were headed to grab our last burritos, and it dawned on me, we are headed home. I commented how cancer never really leaves my thought, just the intensity of the thoughts change. I have moments I feel so healthy, I wonder if everyone has had it wrong. But cancer is sneaky like that. Cancer has never made me feel badly a day in my life. But driving home the reality of second opinions, PET scans, MRIs and the waiting struck me quiet. I felt frozen in fear, but I just kept doing the next thing. Dress the kid, pack the clothes, look under the beds.... But my heart was so very heavy.

Driving home last night, I started to feel peaceful. I began to remember what else I was returning to in Colorado Springs. I was coming home to my other family, my community, the warmth of my home, the comfort of my bed, the dramatic beauty of this town. All the things that cause me to be anxious are here too, but remembering the people made my heart grow peaceful. I walked in my house, and I was immediately hit with love. Someone had fixed our broken lock, someone cleaned our carpets, my house was clean, my mantel was redecorated, and a dear friend had painted an area in my kitchen we hadn’t gotten to in well over a year. My mail was packed full of encouragement. I was so humbled, so thankful, so ready to embrace home again, with all its joys and struggles.

And the sweet benefit of being in California, my sister in law is a fantastic decorator. More than that she’s an excellent organizer and gatekeeper for what comes in her home. I came home with a new desire to purge my house of clutter. She was such a lovely hostess. So gracious in her hospitality, and did I mention homegirl can bake. Now I’m off to clear some clutter, give thanks for my community, and make a few calls to docs I’m avoiding.

What future event steals your peace? How can you face it with grace?