Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28

Tomorrow, my week long work reprieve is over.

Next year, I'm going to take a full week off work and do something fun and go somewhere beautiful. That's right, next year, I'm going to take an actual vacation. (No more of this taking time off to have surgery. I am OVER that work-release plan, in a big way!)

Don't get me wrong, I have been soooooo grateful that I'd planned this week off at the beginning of the year. And I am soooooo grateful that the bank let me keep this week that I had scheduled, even though I'd missed 8 weeks this summer on a medical leave. It has been a blessed relief, all week, to know that I had this time to heal without stress or worrying about work.

Seriously, I have been so (SO!) grateful - all week long - that I could nap when I needed to, alternately hold an ice pack or a heat pad to my face while it healed, and just hang out here in my cozy little apartment.

I love my apartment. I love my home. I do. I love it.

I love the view from my couch, both into my kitchen and out to the pool.


I love the red wall that my couch is up against. I love that as I lie on my couch, I can look up and see pictures of people that I love.

I enjoy spending time here, in the three rooms that I have to call my own. I have healed in this little apartment, in many ways, over the course of the past several years. I love my home.

I have always loved it here, but in the last several months, being in this specific corner of this apartment complex in Mesa, AZ - having been able to stay in my home - has meant the world to me.

When I found out, in January, that I had a new tumor, one of my very first thoughts was "Where will I live?". Beyond not having a treatment plan and not knowing if the bank would be able to give me a medical leave, I wasn't sure what was coming - or how in the world I was going to be able to afford it when it came. Over the past two years, I've had multiple friends and family members open their homes to me and offer to let me move in with them. I have been so grateful for the support system that I have, for the fact that there are people who would sacrifice a corner of their comfort, of their home, to help me. But I have always wanted to be here, among my things, in my tiny little apartment.

And I have been able to stay.

Thanks to so many of my friends and my family, and to a bunch of strangers - including the homeless man who emptied his pockets when my friend Kimmie told him about the girl they were doing a fundraiser for - I have been able to stay.

I've been able to stay in this little 600 sq ft apartment that I love so much, where I am surrounded by pictures and books and movies that I love. I have been able to sleep in my bed, in my room, where I get better rest than I do anywhere else on Earth. I have been able to cook in my tiny little galley kitchen, where you can't open the fridge and a drawer at the same time, lest they smack right into each other. I have had my own itty bitty bathtub with the crack down the middle and the lumpy carpet that I'm sure was never intended to last through seven years with one tenant. I have taken more naps on my couch in the last week - in the last several months - than I can count, and I have been grateful, every time I have woken up, to open my eyes and know that I am home.

This tiny little apartment, literally full to bursting with my things, has been a refuge and a safe haven in an otherwise stormy world.

I'm so grateful that it has been mine. I so enjoy it here.

Thank you, to everyone who has helped in any way this summer. Your generosity has allowed me to be where I wanted to be.

I love it here. I always have. But the love that people have shown me, in helping me find a way to manage what had seemed so unmanageable, has helped me love it even more.

I know that I quote her all the time, but Dorothy was right, "There is no place like home"; I'm so grateful for mine.