Finally reconnected . . .
We have been in our new places three weeks and you still can't tell if we're moving in or out. Boxes are everywhere, counters are covered, clothes remain unpacked and books are waiting for additional bookcases. In the meantime we have enjoyed lots of fresh produce and I've frozen a bushel of butterbeans. Peaches are sitting by the sink waiting to find a home in peach pie. Around the corner and just down the road is a produce stand in someone's front yard. Every morning the owner puts signs on the road telling what he has to offer that day. It's a "help yourself stand:" prices are posted on the table with instructions on what to do. Customers are to weigh what they wish to purchase, bag it and place your money in the box on the table. Liz bought tomatoes there the other day and they couldn't have been any fresher.
Our other culinary delight is Gulf seafood!!! You haven't had shrimp until you've had Gulf shrimp. Fresh ones come with heads on and the last we had were as big as my hand. Yum, yum! One night last week we had both redfish and flounder, caught the same day. From the inland waters come plump, juicy crawfish that are in season now. Tommy and Liz have especially enjoyed them.
We all have loved reconnecting with friends. My Jackson, MS friends (from now on when I mention Jackson, I'll be referring to Mississippi and will designate when I speak of Jackson, TN) have been wonderful to come down to help get me settled and have brought cookies, cake and muffins. I've also been up to stay overnight to see the doctor. Earlier this week I had lunch with a college friend I hadn't seen in eight years and we lingered over two hours at our table.
Last Tuesday, the 21st, I visited my new oncologist, accompanied by my friend, Marilyn, a retired pediatrician. It was so good to have her with me because of our long friendship and for her medical knowledge. My Memphis doctor had told me that the new doctor was absolutely the best and it only took a few minutes to understand why he thought so. He wanted me back on Friday for more tests and again on Monday to do more testing. I learned that Dr. Thigpen, new doctor, chaired the committee responsible for the clinical trial I was in at UC Davis. For now, he intends to continue current treatment, unless test results reveal that I need to rest from the Avastin. All of his comments were extremely positive and encouraging. I've spent much time being thankful for God leading me to him.
Tommy is so happy in his new position! The children are adjusting well and Liz has interviewed twice for a position in the school system. I'm attending a presbytery generated meeting Friday at the request of the pastor and will start the ball rolling to get my presbytery membership moved here. I'll preach on July 24.
A different kind of sadness has seeped into my soul since being "home." Being with old friends, going out to eat and asking for a table for three reminds me of all the times we ate together as couples. Things that have changed, things that have remained the same both remind me of things I can't wait to tell Tom. He would love being here. We're just outside Petal on ten acres. It's quiet and peaceful. The children are in and out and the two little ones still tell me that they miss Paw Paw. They share my sadness. However, a Henri Nouwen book has helped me see things in a new light. Today my sorrow is great because the joy we shared was so great. Remembering that is beginning to crowd out some of the sadness. I'm sure there will always be an empty spot in my heart and life, but our many blessings help with the healing. Being home is one of those blessings.