Um. Wow. I never expected that kind of response to my little ramblings. Thanks so much y'all for all the bloggy love.
When MDH (aka My Darling Husband) and I first talked about moving out to the country, we knew our kids would face an adjustment. And those who might have read my blog back in the day know that acceptance into Hicksville (please know - "Hicksville" is meant in all fondness. I just didn't want to name the actual small town we live near in my blog title) did not come easy. It took time. My eldest had minimal acceptance, my youngest a little more. And my husband and I finally did make a few friends in town. It took some time. But let's be honest - there is a saying out in our part of the country - "If you weren't born here, you ain't from here." We found that to be very true. And we weren't the only ones.
I'm sure it's very common in small rural towns, not just our beloved Hicksville. New people are looked at with reservation, and I would imagine city folk - as we were - are especially considered as outsiders. It was just what it was. We didn't let it bother us much, and as time went on we made some friends. Granted, a lot of those friends were also not born there, but friends are friends and let's face it - we had something in common. It was ok. But we never really felt accepted.
Then I was diagnosed with cancer. A few nights before I had surgery, I mentioned my diagnosis on Facebook. I was completely unprepared for the outpouring of love, affection and support I received not only from my friends, family and work related contacts, but from folks in Hicksville as well. I was astounded. And humbled beyond belief. It wasn't just the not born theres. It was all of them. People I was friends with on Facebook, and their friends. And my kids' friends. And their friends. It was amazing.
Over the next few weeks as I recovered from surgery and tried to regain my strength, those people lifted me up in so many ways. Within days the cards came pouring in - from folks we went to church with in Hicksville, from folks we *didn't* go to church with. It didn't matter. As I posted my progress on Facebook, they would comment and encourage and pray for me and lift me up. It meant so very much to me. My only communication was via my iPhone, and thanks to Facebook, I didn't feel alone. I felt loved.
When I came home from the hospital, the blessings kept coming. In addition to my hockey family (and God Bless Y'all. You were one of the first groups I told about my diagnosis and I should have known from your reaction that I wouldn't be alone through all this. Love you. Everyone single one of y'all) making a schedule to bring meals to my family for the first few weeks, and my work "family" contributing to that, the Hicksville community continued sending cards. And not just cards. We go to the Methodist Church - we had meals from members there. Hell - we had a meal from the FISH class over at the Baptist church - and I barely knew most of those people! One of my son's classmates had his Sunday School class make cards for him to show him that they were praying for us. We constantly heard that the community was praying for us, for me, for health and strength. We had people come over and help clean the house, and do laundry. One gentleman built handrails for my front steps. They helped trim my Christmas tree and decorate my home for the season. Heck - one sweet lady and her husband actually came over in January and took down my Christmas tree and the decorations.
Y'all. I still don't know what I did to deserve that. But I was so very very grateful and humbled by all of it. I'm so lucky that I'm a part of this community. I may not have felt accepted before, but my goodness, I do now. West Texas small town folk know how to take care of their own. I feel like I'm one of their own now. I am so blessed by all of the support I received, and I know all those prayers helped me do as well as I'm doing now.
Hicksville may not be perfect, but I wouldn't live anywhere else. And I continue to be grateful for those I've gotten to know better as I've battled cancer. I hope that one day, once I've gone into remission, a group of us can go and have a few drinks and just laugh and talk about something besides this stupid PITA disease. And I look forward to watching football and basketball games and track meets with them over the next few years. Y'all rock.!
(And - that concludes a couple of days of serious heavy posts. Next up - discovering that the DAY after we lost our beloved dog, a freakin bunny dug a hole in our backyard. Next to the porch. Then sat at the base of the steps as if to taunt us. I assure you - that bunny? Will soon be joining my beloved dog in animal heaven. Little bastard.)