I have a shirt that says “I Am Still Alive” across the front of it, and I am wearing it right now. It’s fitting as I type in this space for the first time in 2 1/2 years! It was created by the late David Wenzel and mimics a tattoo he had written backward across his chest so that he could see it reflected correctly in the mirror each day. As a cancer fighter, it reminded him to keep fighting. It’s written backward on the shirt, too. It’s one of my favorites & I remember David fondly every time I wear it. I have so many stories about this very shirt. One of the most poignant stories will be in a book I’m soon to publish, but I digress.
I’m not sure what has prompted me to log into this online space that meant so much to me for so many years. I guess I just wanted to say hi, and that I’m still alive.
I say that a bit tongue in cheek, but also for real…I’m so very thankful to be alive. 11 years out from my own stage 3b cancer diagnosis, and on top of that, I don’t think I’m alone in saying there has been loss in the past 2 1/2 years.
Much has happened to us all since late 2019. It’s crazy to think Covid didn’t exist then. At this very minute, I am on day 8 of finally getting it. I’m doing well despite the cough that just landed all over my keyboard, and the sense of smell just lost this morning, which is odd being this late in the game. I will take the joy of smelling my coffee in the morning much less for granted from now on.
Despite deep loss, there has also been an overwhelming joy.
So. Much. Joy.
The last post in 2019 was about witnessing our daughter Teagan’s engagement. We had a Covid wedding, and the above image captures joy unspeakable, greeting our guests as they pulled around a circle driveway to celebrate safely with us. Her now-husband Lucus is an addition to our family that is “beyond words” amazing. God has used him to bring about his will in many ways. Teagan just recently graduated from UNL and we could not be more proud and eager to continue to witness these two continue to build their life.
Then there is our daughter Colsie, who in 2019 had just graduated from high school. This was an amazing feat when you factor in all that she was up against. She has with grit and grace overcome so many obstacles put in her path and we are honestly in awe. She is now engaged to another “beyond words” amazing man Vance, and we are simply blown away by God’s goodness. We cannot wait to celebrate them in September.
Our youngest Avery is now a student at UNL. She was the recipient of a scholarship that pays full tuition and man are we SO proud. She is thriving as a college student and has a very full social calendar. We are enjoying the wisdom that she has that is beyond her years and her easy-going demeanor as her parents.
Todd is thriving teaching middle school (lucky students!) but he is home for the summer, of which I am most grateful as he is available to help support a SUPER FUN NEW ADVENTURE that has been in the works since March.
During March, April & May I had a blast setting up our Airbnb and it is currently hosting our 4th guest! We have had 5-star reviews so far and goodness it has been a fun project. You can take a peek here and if you are ever in the Lincoln, NE area (or driving cross-country and need a central place to stay!) we would love to have you as guests! It is a project encouraged by our amazing son-in-law and daughter, who now own a duplex and are prepping their own Airbnb. Such a fun thing to do together and have in common!
Now that The New Nostalgia House is off and running (and getting bookings!) I can get back to finishing another very important project, the one that has been years in the making and what took me away from writing here on the New Nostalgia site.
It is a legacy book written about my Kelly, one of my closest friends who we lost in April 2020. I cannot wait to share it with you and it will be available to purchase on Amazon.
Loss & joy.
I know I’m not alone in doing the dance of life between loss and joy. As I type I so wish this was more two-way and I could know how you all are doing. You could always let me know in the comments if you wish! I would love to hear from you.