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Storm has passed

I am coming up upon my two year anniversary in Ohio. As always the time has flown and yet it seems like its been decades.

What a couple of year’s it has been. Full of trials, tribulations, craziness, and chaos. It’s also been full of laughter,  friends, love, and spending copious amounts of glorious time with my nephews making memories that last a lifetime.

I do not regret my time here. I have met amazing people that will be in my life, in some capacity, forever. I have also come face to face with a few of my worst nightmares, things I never thought I could survive, and I did.

When I moved here, I didn’t really understand why. I knew I wanted to be closer to my nephews. I also knew deep in my gut this was the right decision. And it was. God had things to show me about my family and myself. I didn’t pass all the tests that he had for me, I found new spots in my heart that needed to be softened and molded. In the end, though, I know better who I am and what I’m not.

I also got the chance to help support my Aunt through breast cancer. I got the opportunity to help my brother finish college, finally. I got to watch my nephews as my sister-in-law went back to work. I got to spend time with my grandmother. I got to do many things I couldn’t from CA.

When God gave me the verse two years ago that he wanted to give me immeasurably more than all I could ask for, I thought it would look really different. I was imagining the man of my dreams, a great job, you know the usual wishes. Instead he brought truth and light to the darkest places of our family. He came to bring healing and redemption, if we wanted it. These past two years have been ones of incredible growth in every capacity.  I am free from many things that tethered me to my past.

God freed me to move forward. In his infinite wisdom he gave me what I needed, not what I asked for.  Just as I knew when it was time to come here I have accepted that its time to leave. I need to move on with my life and it is not here in Ohio.

For now my plan is to move back to CA. I don’t expect things to be the same, but I am going back to the family I chose for myself. The friends that have been so incredibly supportive. I’m going back to the pace of life where I can thrive. The vitamin D I need to live.

I feel good about the decision. I feel good about making a decision. I’m going to move forward with this, staying open to new possibilities and new places.

I think the decision to leave is the most important one.

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Funny Nephew Moments

My nephews are a hoot. I know they drive me crazy, a lot, but generally I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I realized that this summer they have done and said some doozies so for posterity I am recording them here, mostly for me, but you might enjoy them too.

1. My dad took Mikey and Jordy fishing a couple of weeks ago. After getting the line tangled five or six times they finally decided to take a break. Mikey laid out on the grass and raised his shirt and said he wanted to get a tan on his stomach. Jordy flopped on the grass, raised his shirt and announced, “I want to get a nipple tan.”

2. One day Jordy walked into the factory and declared, ” I am here to bring joy to the factory.” LOL and he does.

3. Mikey is a child that has to know three or four steps ahead of where we are. He likes the agenda for the day in the morning. On a trip he wants to know where we’ll stop and what we’ll do when we get there. Once there he needs to know the procedures and directions. When you’re done he wants to know what’s next. One day coming out of Sam’s Club he was asking what was next. Not satisfied with the answer we gave he kept asking. Finally out of exasperation Jordy shouted, “Up your anus and to the left.” I guess that was specific enough for Mikey because he got quiet.

4. Last week I picked up the boy from VBS, which they declared to be the same as last year, just with a new theme. To entertain himself Mikey taped a note to himself that read, “I give girls free hugs, so go ahead and ask for one.” He said all he got were pity hugs.

5. At the end of Spring we had an international art exhibit of Kimono’s come to Canton. We were one of two stops they made in the U.S. Jordy was really excited to see them and kept asking me to take him. I was kind of surprised by that but one day gave in. The kimono’s were beautiful. Each one took a year to make. But Jordy buzzed through the exhibit in like 10 minutes. After circling the main room a few times he came back to where I was and asked, “Where are the animals?” I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he went on, “Yea I want to see the kimodo’s, that is what they said would be here.” LOL. We never did find the dragons.

6.  A few weeks ago to distract Mikey and Jordy from fighting I decided to make cupcakes. Jordy, who loves to help, volunteered to be in the kitchen with me. I asked him to read all the ingredients so I could pull them from the cupboard. Then he was actively involved in stirring and prepping all items for the cupcakes and frosting. Half way through he said, “This is a like an advanced cooking class with my aunt.” Awww…. I love that. Memories.

That’s all I can think of right now. I don’t want to forget one cute moment with them.

Watching my Aunt battle cancer

This weekend my mom and I drove to Fort Wayne to visit my aunt, who was recently in the hospital.

She was diagnosed in February with breast cancer, during her baseline mammogram. Since it is an agressive ductal cancer they have had to perform a bi-lateral mastectomy. During the surgery they discovered that the cancer has also spread to her sentinal nodes. We are still waiting for the results that reveal if it has spread beyond her lymphnodes.

It’s hard to wrap your brain around what is happening to her. She’s young, early 40s. She has three kids – 19, 16 and 11. She herself is a nurse. Now she is fighting for her life.

She’s used to fighting for other people. Her oldest child was diagnosed with diabetes at 3 so she became a nurse and diabetic educator. Now she helps other families cope with this life-changing dianosis.

Now she is completely out of control and powerless over what is happening in her own body. Seeing her scars today was hard. It is reality that this disease is taking over her life and the life of her family. Her kids are scared. Her husband is stressed and devastated.

But she soldiers on. Her attitude is fantastic. She is positive, upbeat and ready to fight. She is bound and determined to kick cancer’s ass. It’s amazing to see. She refuses to lay down and take it.

She knows a large part of this battle is in her mind. She kept telling me today that she feels peaceful and is picturing God holding her in the palm of his hand. What a beautiful picture! She knows the source of her comfort, strength and healing.

As her niece, I feel helpless. What can I do? You feel like you need to do something. Once she knows when she’s going to do chemo I might come and stay with her a few days a week. I’ve promised to help her find beautiful scarves. I will laugh with her, cry with her, comfort her and care for her. That is what family is all about.

The great thing is we’re all fighting for the chance to do that for her. We just want her to be well. My heart is just heavy. Watching her kids rally around her today just broke my heart. They just wanted to be near her. You could also see them will her to be fine. I can’t imagine the fear they carry.

But the battle is on! I want to find a good daily devotional for her, to keep her thinking good thoughts.