As I sat in my parents living room and watched as my dad dragged out a photo album and made me move so he could sit next to Kyle to show him some pictures and then pulled out a map of Kentucky so Kyle could show him exactly where his family was from, I couldn't help but smile. He went through one heck of a surgery last December and here he was regaling us with stories of his youth and all the mischief he got into as if it were yesterday. Most stories I had heard before, but as I listened to them and some of the new ones, I thought about how much my parents had been through to get where they are. I thought about how blessed I was to have them and how even though as my parents they sometimes drove me absolutely crazy insane, I love them with all I have in me and could never come close to repaying them for what they have done for me. We haven't always seen eye to eye and at times haven't been on speaking terms, but I never doubted for a minute that they didn't want the best for me...it's just that what they think is best for me isn't always what I think is best for me. I'm really glad we took the time to see them instead of cleaning. It was time very well spent.
When I met Kyle, I didn't expect to meet such great friends as well. Before I met him I thought I had some amazing friends who are always there for me and have been such a wonderful support system through the years and no one could really compare. Not that I thought I had a monopoly on great friends, but I honestly didn't think Kyle's would be as great as they are or be as welcoming to me as they have. They are truly some of the most down to earth people who are just as willing to help you out as they are to kick back and have a good time. This summer filled with all the "must do before surgery" task list has limited the amount of time we have spent with Dave and Carolyn and the rest of the crew. I have found myself having to switch to some country artists on Pandora because I miss hanging out at the Hackers and need my country fix. Hanging out with them Saturday was great and it was much better than spending time steamvaacing (sp??) the carpet. I'm so glad I have not only met such a wonderful man who treats me like a princess and loves me without question, but I have also added some pretty awesome people to my already amazing list of friends.
Labor day weekend usually signals the end of the summer and people start getting ready for the fall. I love fall, it's my favorite time of year. The crisp autumn air punctuated with the unseasonably warm days as the weather changes; Mother Nature unable to make up her mind which direction to go. I love football and Halloween and hot apple cider and I love fall clothes...seriously I wish I could wear fall clothes all year round. I love the smell of fall and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet. Labor day weekend this year signified something else for me. It's the end of the "things I have to do before my surgery" season and the beginning of what's next for me. I really really don't want to have this surgery and it's scary and I really hate that I have to go through it and it really doesn't seem fair at all that I even have this disease. But even more than that, I hate that I've lived the last couple months with the thoughts of getting things done and living based on my surgery date. I can't wait to get it over with. Even though I'm really not looking forward to the recovery and life on the other side of surgery and recovery is unknown, I honestly have no idea what the reality will be, I want it behind me. I don't want it to define my life and how I choose to spend my time any more. I'm glad I didn't spend my last weekend neurotically cleaning every speck of dirt, not that having a clean house isn't important...I certainly wouldn't want to end up on an episode of Hoarders...BUT in the grand scheme of things, it's not worth giving up spending time with those you love. Here's to the end of my "before surgery" to do list and to looking forward to whatever comes next. I know I can tackle whatever it is because I have a crazy family who will always stand by their own, wonderful friends to support me and a great boyfriend to love me no matter what comes our way.