Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Community

I started to write this as a Facebook status.  About halfway through, I gave up and realized it was longer than that.

When I moved to this city back in the year 2000, I was on my own. I came for a job.  I knew no one who lived here except my brother, his wife, and their three kids. (They have long since moved).  I've now lived here almost 16 years and realized how much that has changed.

Back in August, the results came back on my annual pap test. I had severe dysplasia in my cervix. Not cancer, but it wants to be cancer when it grows up, if you will.  After two more procedures, one at the doctor's office and one as an outpatient hospital procedure, I determined along with my doctor, that it was the best choice to have a hysterectomy.  He would leave my ovaries and take my uterus.  I debated about sharing this on the blog, but we're all friends here, right?.  Ladies, make sure you keep that yearly pap appointment.

I'm 45 and have two children and a husband now.  I knew this was the best decision for me.  And yet, by the time the other procedures were done, I had to schedule the operation  (not outpatient) for December 1st.  And there it hung over my head for two months.  It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning and usually what I was thinking about as I fell asleep each night.  What if something went wrong?  Would I be feeling okay for Christmas?  Who would take my kids to school? Of all the things I dislike, the unknown is right up there at the top.

My operation went off without a hitch.  I was home after one night in the hospital.  I had a quick recovery which is not 100 % complete but very close.  The time leading up to the holidays has been good.

I'm so happy to be on the other side of it now.  And even happier for what it has showed me more clearly.

Through my job, my husband's job, my children's school, our church, and our neighborhood, I've collected a wonderful bunch of people.

It's hard to become a part of a community for an introvert like me.  Maybe it's hard for everyone who grows up in one place and spends his or her adult life in another.  People aren't always sure what to make of you.  You're not someone's daughter or cousin.  People didn't see you play softball or have you in their Brownie troop or see you graduate from high school.  But in spite of that, I have become part of a community.

I took three weeks off of work.  In the time during my recuperation, we had neighbors, co-workers, and friends offer us prayers, meals, messages, and flowers.  And I realized I am no longer on my own.  I'm now part of not just my own family, but a larger community family.  So for everyone from the neighbors who brought us ribs from a local barbeque joint, to our priest who showed up, unsummoned, to sit with my husband and mom while I was in surgery, to the friends and co-workers who sent me flowers or meals or Chex mix (my favorite!), to friends who offered up prayers for my recovery or sent me a message to see how I was doing, I say thank you.  And I hope I can be there for you in the same way.  As you are a part of mine, I hope you will consider me a part of yours.






Kim

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