It’s kind of funny that I chose the word “Remember” for June over at Grace & Such. I had no idea just how far into reminisce mode I would be as the month began. Todd and I came to Arkansas for a Thompson Family Reunion – the first time we’ve been back in 8 years.
We moved here the day after our wedding and resided here for the next 18 years. We did a lot of living in that time. This is where we learned how to be married, where we brought two precious babies home from the hospital, where we raised those babies into school aged children. This is where I was diagnosed with breast cancer and where my surgery was performed, where my treatment was given. This is where Todd had his knee rebuilt and where I left him – he in his cast, still recuperating from the surgery – on the side of the freeway while it was sleeting. This is where he decided that Jesus was real and worthy of his devotion.
The happiest days of my life were spent here.
Each friend or family member we’ve seen has brought back those memories with such a force. I reminisce with every landmark we pass and the bittersweet emotions are raw and heavy.
I think it’s kind of funny that we will leave to return to Pennsylvania on the same day we left Arkansas for good ten years earlier. That was a rough day as well. But an exciting one, just the same.
The past ten years have been spent building a new life in a new place we have come to love. We’ve made cherished friends and are happy there. We love the location and the proximity to different places – the shore, DC, NYC, etc.. But it’s also been a hard stage of life, in my opinion. The empty nest (or pseudo empty nest, really) syndrome has its benefits, but it’s also painful. And there are times I still carry bitter and angry feelings towards cancer and how it changed me, both physically and emotionally.
I long for the days when I was still me and when my kids were around and we would explore and have fun. Where I lived life to the fullest. And all that happened here, in Arkansas.
Next week when we’re back at home and doing our thing, I’ll be happy to be there. I will get back into my routine and enjoy what Pennsylvania has to offer this summer. And I’ll fondly think back on this trip and the treasured people we were blessed to see.
And I will continue working on learning how to enjoy this stage of life so I can live it to the fullest. But I will always remember.