I am not going to lie there were many weekends back at “home” (in Tampa) when we didn’t know what we were going to do all weekend and I sometimes found myself not really looking forward to the weekend (ok sometimes dreading it) and the craziness that was guaranteed to happen when we didn’t have a “plan”. Well this past Friday we found ourselves upon one of those weekends here in Memphis. We didn’t have any visitors in town, we weren’t sure how Caleb would be feeling and for the most part we didn’t have anything planned. Yet this weekend I found myself truly looking forward to it. I didn’t want to have a plan, we didn’t need a plan, all we needed was our family, together. And let me tell you it was the absolute best un-planned weekend we have ever had….
It’s funny (and kinda great) how Christina and I have many of the same thoughts before we even know it. Before I sat down to write this post she said to me that she thought this was one of the best times we have had in a while and we didn’t even have anything planned. On top of that we talked about how we both wished we could just bottle up the kids right now and keep them just about like this forever. Well, I couldn’t agree more and was thinking the exact same thing for the topic of this post….Groundhog Day….or in this case Groundhog Weekend.
As we are settling in to our long term temporary life here in Memphis, it’s starting to get a little easier to forget the reason we are here. We are pretty settled into our apartment (albeit small with only one bathroom), we are getting comfortable driving around and finding everything we need, Tyler has made some great friends at school and Caleb barely slows down even on treatment days. All those things have begun to feel like life back home and on the weekends when we don’t have any “appointments” (as Caleb calls them) it really feels like normal life. And trust me I will take all the normal life we can get! However just as the weekend was coming to an end and we were getting ready to head home, I was quickly reminded why are here. We were checking out at Target and the cashier mentions that we have a lot of stuff and asked me how long we were in the store. I laugh and tell her a “while” and that we had just moved here from Florida. She of course asks what brings you here. So I mention that Caleb was being treated at St. Jude and we are starting to settle into a new place here. Well in this particular case the cashier got a little emotional and mentions that her cousin was treated at St. Jude for a long time and how wonderful they were to all of her family. And even though in this case her cousin had just recently passed away after losing his battle with cancer, she was very positive and even shared a happy story with Caleb and I about him. As she talked about everything St. Jude helped him with and how they helped grant him 13 wishes to fulfill his bucket list of things to do (he was 16 when he passed so she said there were some fun things on that list). Just like that, when we start to feel like life is becoming routine or normal, I was reminded of how precious every moment can be, planned or un-planned. While I haven’t yet fully come to terms with why we are here, how crazy it is to look around and remember why we go to appointments every day or what the future might hold, what I have come to fully understand is how God works in mysterious ways to remind us how much every moment counts, how much being present and in the moment matters and how we can turn every challenge in life into an opportunity to see something more clearly. Over the past few days I have quickly learned how awesome an un-planned weekend can be if you just let life take you where it will, let God guide you to where you need to be and how truly amazing these moments can be. And for that I truly wish, even for just a short time, we were living in the movie Groundhog Day and could relive this un-planned weekend over and over and over.