Today’s a big day, but let me first address this weekend. We went out of town- thumbs up! Who knew that going out of town in this midst of this journey would be so refreshing? It was very nice to get out of the environment that has now turned into the treatment zone. My husband and I flew to Oklahoma City, OK on Friday and just returned yesterday (Sunday). The reason for our travels was for the college graduation of my baby brother. He walked the stage Summa Cum Laude at Oklahoma State University on Saturday morning. I can’t even begin to explain what an honor it was to see him accomplishing such a remarkable feat. He’s the last of my brothers to graduate from OSU. In December of 2010, I had the privilege of watching my older-of-the-two brothers walk the same stage. I cried then, and I cried this weekend. The pride I have for my two younger brothers is overwhelming. In many ways, I look up to them. Not only are they towering over me in height, but their vast knowledge about, well, many things, inspires me. Although we were all raised in the same home in the same way, our views are all different, and I love learning from them. They have taught me so much, and will continue to; of that, I am sure.
Not only was this weekend special because I had the chance to spend time with my brothers, but I was also able to see my grandparents, dad, and step-mom. Spending time with family that I don’t often see rejuvenates my spirit. And all of us being together, celebrating the same occasion, makes it that much better! In addition, the location of celebration was vital. For those who don’t know, I love Stillwater. I love the Oklahoma State campus. It’s overflowing with good memories for me. It sounds like I went there myself, right? Well, I didn’t. But that, in no way, stops me from acting like I’m an alumni! My pride for that school is uncanny. I wear OSU orange as proud as the rest of them. As does my husband. We are true cowboys. In fact, I’m a little surprised when the blood taken from my port isn’t bright orange.
The biggest highlight of my weekend happened during the graduation commencement. My husband and I, along with the rest of my family, were seated and admiring the bagpipes and entrance of the soon-to-be graduates. I was made aware that my brother and his girlfriend were sitting right next to each other, so when my mom turned around and asked if I could see my brother’s girlfriend, I said yes. However, I couldn’t find my brother. Mom explained that he was walking in right behind his girlfriend. I became increasingly confused, because the guy behind her in no way looked like my brother. This kid was bald. No sooner did I realize it, when he found his seat, turned around, and took his cap off to show me. My baby brother was bald. The bald kid was my brother! Needless to say, the tears began to rush from my eyes. This was a huge surprise that everyone kept from me. I had absolutely no idea he was planning on shaving his head, let alone for his graduation. That’s a big statement, and I acknowledge it and am deeply touched by his gift to me. In addition, when his name was finally called, and once he walked across the stage to receive his diploma, as he walked down the center aisle back to his seat, he removed his cap and walked the rest of the way proudly. If you haven’t been to a graduation ceremony before, no one removes their caps during the ceremony. It’s unheard of. Until now. I found out later, that the morning of graduation, instead of doing things soon-to-be graduates do, such as ironing their gowns and meeting up with their friends, he was sitting in his apartment getting his head shaved. Wow. I wish I could put into words the impact that has had on my life. My brother blessed and honored me on his day. For that, I will always be thankful. His bald head is the best gift I have ever received from him. (Although, the Michael Kors watch last Christmas was pretty cool, too…)
This past weekend was much-needed. I feel refreshed and ready to continue on with treatment. Every now and then, getting away is good. I’ve learned that, and will use that knowledge throughout my battle. More weekend trips might occur. In fact, my husband said he wants to go to Chicago or New York sometime, so maybe that will be our next trip! We’ll see…
Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG version)
“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”