A Therapeutic Thanksgiving: Coming Home

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving here in America. The real, official start of the holiday season. No one can deny it’s too early for Christmas music any longer!

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Boo says, “Oh. It’s you.”

After barely managing to drag myself out of bed Wednesday afternoon, David and I headed to my hometown, a four-hour drive away. Having not been there since May, I was very much looking forward to it. Luckily we had good weather and made good time, despite needing to stop at a rest stop to use the facilities and because I had to walk around to prevent blood clots. Once we got there, we were immediately greeted by Boo and Ziggy, the household rescue tuxedo cats. I missed them so! We had dinner with my dad and brother since my mom was at work. My dad and I spent the rest of the evening talking about a range of topics, including blogging and writing in general. He’s given me good advice throughout this whole blogging adventure, since he is a writer himself. Pretty much everything I know about writing I learned from him.

My mom got home from work after midnight (she’s a nurse) but she and I stayed up until 4 am talking and going through old photos of her and my grandparents and great-grandparents. I love looking at old photos, and there were a few I had never seen before. Since I manage a lot of my family’s ancestry information, it was good to be able to put faces to names.

On Thursday, I awoke early afternoon to the delicious smells of turkey and stuffing in the oven that can only mean it’s Thanksgiving! However, I was still so exhausted from my hospital adventure earlier in the week that I didn’t manage to drag myself out of bed until 2:30 pm. (I used to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when I was younger, mainly to see the Garfield balloon, but now I value my sleep more!) But I had to get up because relatives were due to come over at 3 pm and they arrived right on time.

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Left: my mom, dad, and brother Brian   Middle: Connie    Right: Uncle Bob

We had my Aunt Mary, Uncle Bob, and his mother Connie, who is 95 years old, sharp as a tack, and the sweetest elderly lady you will ever meet. I was a little embarrassed that I was in my pajamas, since the groin pain didn’t even really allow me to put jeans on, but no one cared; they all know I’ve been through some unbelievable crap this year.

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Aunt Mary, David, and me

Dinner was a tremendous success. My family has really gotten the whole gluten free thing down in the last four years since my celiac disease diagnosis. I had my own stuffing made with gluten free bread and my own bowl of gravy. We had ensured beforehand that the turkey was gluten free (it was farm fresh anyway, but as an FYI, many companies inject gluten-containing fillers to plump up the turkey, so you need to be careful if you can’t eat gluten.) David made the pumpkin pie with a gluten free crust and my mom made our dessert staple called Hydrox Dessert with gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies. No one could tell the difference!

After dinner, we engaged in the age-old pastime of watching football while trying not to sink into food comas. I usually don’t watch football, but it just felt right to watch it with my family on Thanksgiving.

Thursday really did a number on me in terms of social expenditure and spoons, because I woke up with a migraine on Friday. As a result, I was unable to go see The Nutcracker with my family, which disappointed me greatly, but it is what it is.

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Finally meeting CeCe!

At least I was feeling well enough by evening, because our family members came back over, but this time with my cousin Ken, his wife Laura, and their 9-month old little girl Cecelia. This was actually my first time meeting Laura due to a confluence of circumstances, but we got along well right away. And this was my first time meeting CeCe as well. She was born prematurely in February, but is doing wonderfully now! She’s crawling all over the place and can pull herself to stand up. Holding her just felt so right. Maybe someday soon…

(Left: The look of a man who wants to be a daddy! Right: Ziggy watches curiously as CeCe plays with his crinkle ball)

Saturday we had to wait until The Game was finished before we headed back home. It went into double overtime and I thought my poor husband was going to have a stroke, but thankfully the Buckeyes came out on top! O-H! We didn’t leave until 4:30 pm, so it was almost dark, and ran into periods of heavy rain, but thank goodness it wasn’t snow. We made good time getting home, too!

Feeling very run down aside (I literally spent the whole weekend in my pajamas), it was a wonderful weekend. It was exactly what I needed to perk myself up. Especially when I realized that the last time we went out of town was in July…when we went to Atlanta for my surgery at the CEC. So even that trip was tainted by hospitals and surgery. So I desperately needed this trip. To see my family that loves me and cares for me, even though I don’t see them often. To see Boo and Ziggy (animals are very therapeutic.) Just to be back in my hometown with its familiarity. It did wonders for my mental health as well. I feel like I’ve broken through some barrier that was keeping me from being happy. Not that things are all sunshine and daisies, but I feel…different. In a good way.

And the blood will dry
Underneath my nails
And the wind will rise up
To fill my sails
So you can doubt
And you can hate
But I know, no matter what it takes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away
All the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits
And they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming…

Coming Home, Part II: Skylar Grey

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Is It Everything You Dreamed It Would Be?

This is, verbatim, a journal entry of mine from January 17th and 18th, 2016, back when I did a lot of writing prompts. It’s interesting to look back on now.


Another writing prompt I saw online was to list out 100 things that you want. At first I thought that sounded kind of selfish, but then I thought about it and realized that things you want don’t have to be material, and wanting things doesn’t indicate a lack of God’s blessings, but it can give you appreciation for what you already have and how you can better yourself, your life, and the world around you. I don’t know if I can come up with 100 things, but I’ll list as many as I can think of now. Continue reading “Is It Everything You Dreamed It Would Be?”

The Seasons Will Fly

As I sit here spending my time as a football widow, I can’t help but think about all the goings on of the past year. My journey through infertility, through depression, through pelvic pain, through a brain tumor. I tend to do this every now and then when the calendar comes up on a specific time of year, such as a change of seasons. I don’t know why, I just do. I tend to find that my mind is either stuck in the past or the future. Continue reading “The Seasons Will Fly”

Loving My Chronically Ill Body

It’s hard to love a body that doesn’t work the way it should. But I’ve realized it could be so much worse. I have a lot to be thankful for. So I’m going to give thanks for what I do have.

Continue reading “Loving My Chronically Ill Body”

The Guilt of Chronic Illness

Guilt is probably one of the most common emotions felt by an individual with chronic illness. At least it is for me, I can’t speak for others. Not because we necessarily feel guilty about ourselves, but often times we are made to feel that way by those we encounter, although it is usually not intentional on the part of those individuals.

Why should I feel guilty about something I can’t control?  That’s what part of my mind says. But the part that actually controls my feelings completely overrides that. This is in part due to experiences I’ve had that have made me feel guilty, whether the feelings were actually warranted or not.

Continue reading “The Guilt of Chronic Illness”

Chronic Illness 30 Day Challenge: Day 5

 Day 5: How does being chronically ill make you feel?

Defective. Broken. Betrayed. Misunderstood.

Those are the primary words I can think of off the top of my head.

Being chronically ill isn’t something you choose. It’s something that happens to you. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t understand. It’s become a lifestyle for us, but not one of our own choosing. Our diseases won’t go away. It’s not like catching a cold, dealing with it for a few days, and then getting better. We will always be ill. Continue reading “Chronic Illness 30 Day Challenge: Day 5”

The Road to Gluten Free

2012 was the year my health started its journey to hell in a hand basket. I’ve talked about all of my other chronic illnesses on the blog so far, but have left this one for last, I think because it’s actually the one I think about the least; I’ve had it the longest, so I’m just very used to having it by now that I don’t think about it much. But here is my diagnosis story. Continue reading “The Road to Gluten Free”