February 28, 2016
I was very brave…or stupid…last week. In looking back, a whopping 4 days later, I will vote for brave.
Before coming on our mission, I underwent a fairly rare back surgery. Surgery was done on the nerves in my spine. I had started to drag a foot when I walked. At times I would use a cane. We didn’t think it could be corrected, but some internet research led me to a doctor in Texas who performed a “miracle” (at least in my mind) and gave me back complete control of my legs.
One of the post-operative procedures was a yearly MRI, for the first two years, to check on the repair. Last year I flew to Texas for the MRI. This year, I meekly asked if I could go to California.
My youngest son Jeff, and his wonderful wife Stephanie, had their second child just two months ago. If I could go to California, I could witness the baby blessing. My other son David, with Lenore and four children, also lives within 5 minutes of Jeff. Together I could hold and kiss six grandchildren. That means more to a grandmother than I can write. Little did I know that my daughter from Washington was too “close” to stay away and so she arrived with two of her children also.
Permission was granted, and I booked the flight. My sons live about 2 hours away from Oroville, where we had lived since 1978. However, my doctor appointments were closer to Oroville than where the boys lived. At times last week, I was within 30 minutes of my home in Oroville. I looked across the fields and saw Table Mountain. I drove by the “Buttes.” I walked in Chico as I went to several doctors. And I considered, but stuck to my decision, to not enter “my town.”
What a weird experience to see California after 20 months. I looked at the Pacific Ocean splashing upon the shore as I flew over. I watched the landscape to see if the rain was having the desired effect on the state. I felt the wetness, as I had left the dryness of winters in Mexico. I watched little TV, chose to hold a baby rather than see a movie at the theater, and ate my favorite sandwich at LaBou’s. (Favorite: Walnut bread, goat cheese, apple, and avocado). I bought brown sugar and makeup and enjoyed the less than busy freeways I traveled on.
Within a short time period, I boarded the plane back to Mexico. There was never any doubt about me returning. It did remind me however, for a time not that distant, that Keith and I will fly into the tiny little airport of Chico, California. As we flew out of there 20 months ago, our grandchildren were crying their little hearts out. When we return, it will be Keith and I who will be crying.