Heading Back Home.

I am not sure which would be my favorite…. her sugar cream pie, creamed corn, apple raisin cookies or her green beans. (if I had to name only a few of the best dishes she made). Just a few years ago I had asked her to begin writing down these recipes so I could keep them forever. Unfortunately the only thing missing from the recipes now is the person who wrote them… the little nuances that made her recipes work, the things she didn’t write down that she did out of habit or how she always loaded things with salt but yet it tasted oh so good, those are the things that cannot be taught. Those are the things she did oh so well. On top of loving all of us.

Raised an only child, she was stubborn, witty and a lot of fun. My grandmother had two children and from those children came five grandchildren, her youngest granddaughter being me.  She loved big, talked loud, moved a mile a minute and was spunky as ever. When I last spoke to her she said she wished we could rest up together, knowing I was not well either. I thought how much more fun it would be if I had to lay around and be sick why not lay around and be sick with her. For our family she was the one that would live forever. She was going to out live us all. But just this past Monday she laid her eyes, was no longer in pain and she is now resting in the arms of the most beloved King. Of this I am sure.

Elsie was my grandma and for that I am very grateful. She will be missed so very much.



So that brings me to today, I am here. That counts for something I think.

Through the weekend I received two more shots and went to the hospital Monday morning to learn my counts came all the way up to 19. Which after being up the night before in so much ache and pain from the neupogen shot, it made since knowing my bone marrow was in overdrive. Around 5:30 am when I could not fight the insomnia anymore I woke up to call my parents to learn that my dear grandmother had passed that morning.

My lack of posting is reflective of a bit of the busy that has come into my life the past few days. I am slowly starting to feel better, some minor side effects (bloody noses, blistered nose) have me not quite back together but I am taking them in stride. Monday evening, Stephanie Cifuentes (Riley) flew in from Guatemala to visit me for the week. Unfortunately our visit has been cut short as I am flying out tonight and will be back home with my family till Sunday. Although it has been unexpected and not the visit we had planned, the past two evenings of taking Stephanie of two of my favorite restaurants in the city have been a wonderful time of catching up and visiting.

A milestone occurred last night as I purchased men’s rogaine. Let the hair regrowth begin! (things you never thought you would type). Next Thursday I will have my blood drawn to check for the tumor markers, to determine if the chemotherapy was successful. Please add this day to your prayer lists.

I will try and write more soon, perhaps once I am at the airport later. I still need to share about Houston and the big surprise that took place at work yesterday. I have yet to pack, have a half day of work and some things to get in order before I fly out tonight.

I so appreciate your kind words as our family says goodbye and celebrates the very wonderful 88 year old life my grandmother had.

I read the Jesus Calling this morning just praying God would plant some words that would rest my anxious heart. With so much to do and get in order I am a trying not to stress too much. And the words were indeed reassuring…

“Accept each day just as it comes…. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life.”

Below are some pictures from this week.

Note to self, do not watch the Louisville game at the neighborhood bar with a bunch of Michigan State Fans. Just kidding it was still a great game. Below is a picture of Luke and Me. I have mentioned Luke’s family in Michigan, his sister, Shelby, who has a rare brain and spinal cancer as well as her husband with a progressive form of lymphoma. You may hear their story here. They would greatly appreciate your prayers as treatment options are becoming slim for both of them. (ps this is a great capture of my short eyebrows)


Monday morning waiting to hear what my counts were at the Cancer Center.


 Stephanie and I at Sushi Den.



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