Rewind our lives to about 15 months ago. News of cancer. Almost everyone can relate to hearing that word as a diagnosis of a person you love or know personally. It is not uncommon, by any means. And even as common as it is, when it hits home to someone you love, it still tumbles you off your feet, leaving you grasping for answers while swimming in a sea of anxiety. No matter what. Percentages of treatability, curability (is that a word?), and good outcomes do. not. matter. Because you could always be in that small percentage, right?
In December of 2011, my Dad underwent a very scary surgery after the probable diagnosis of thymus cancer. So, you’re talking to a labor and delivery nurse here. What the heck is a thymus (I’ve heard the word in school, but that’s about it) and how do you get cancer of it? Why do you get cancer of it? And to find out there really is no purpose of said thymus gland in your body? Well, I hate that gland.
Steve and I made the trip to Omaha. Usually, I am giddy at the thought of a road trip with Steve. The kids were taken care of by my mom and doing their normal daily school routine. We should have been pumped to get a couple of days away. But in reality? It was the very last thing I wanted to do. Drive to Omaha together while the looming surgery was upon us. Needless to say, Omaha got a bad rap from Steve and I. And I’m pretty sure my brothers felt the same exact way. A family “reunion” of sorts. In a hospital pre-op waiting room. Not much to look forward to….
As most of you know, we were OVER-ABUNDANTLY blessed!!! Hugely. Drop me to my knees in thankfulness, gratefulness, hope, and love for the outcome of my Dad’s surgery and diagnosis. I will NEVER forget that call. On Christmas Eve—they got all of it. The cancer was contained. The best…and I mean BEST Christmas gift that year, making Christmas 2011 unforgettable.
Everyone is given second chances right? And second chances apply to the dear city of Omaha. We’re gonna try this once again. This time with our four hooligans in tow. A road trip to meet up for a family “reunion” of sorts. Where the majority of the family was waiting in Omaha with the hopes of an Omaha Redemption. Omaha stepped up to the plate. I have new appreciation for the city.
This weekend was a Christmas gift from my parents. It was so awesome. Oh my goodness. We are still reeling in the refreshing and rejuvenating time we had last weekend. We met the majority of the family for dinner and then a shuttle ride to the Orpheum for The Lion King. What an amazing performance! I am a bit of a broadway show junkie anyway. If I were drowning in $$$ I would be at a show weekly. I am not kidding. My very first experience being Wicked (my all time favorite—seen it twice), and then Mary Poppins (in NYC), and then just a few weeks ago—Jersey Boys. But I will say, I was amazed by The Lion King. The costumes, the cast, the music—everything was beautiful. And I could have watched it every day I was there. But then again…I am NOT drowning in $$$!!!
Late night hotel swimming and pizza delivery was to follow (although I popped a bag of popcorn and fell asleep in my room). A special package for each person to don “green” for St. Patrick’s the next day and of course with a KU twist after winning the tournament! Wahoo!! (Sorry, K-staters!) The green came in handy—we could keep the crew together—EXCEPT for the fact, most everyone else was in green that day too. Ha!
The Henry Doorly Zoo was as awesome as always. We got to see 5 baby tiger cubs playing and loving on their mamas. I could have stayed there all day and watched. Precious, I tell you.
But perhaps, what ruled the majority of the rest of the mini-vacay was the insistent persistence (how do you like that?) of my Natalie in getting a “Harlem Shake” video recorded. I don’t know how many places at the zoo got to see us shake it. Thankfully, she backed off once we got to the restaurant. But the minute we got back to the hotel, we were shaking it. In the lobby. With people staring at us. And you know what? It was a blast! And after some editing, Nat has a video that documents the culture of 2013 as the Schmidt family embraced it. So sorry Nick, Linsey, and Kyle missed out on the experience. (I’m sure they feel the same way—ha!)
The redemption of Omaha continued as we marked a HUGE task off our list in finding Natalie’s 8th grade recognition dress before the ride home. Yay! I was getting a bit concerned…
Omaha has new memories. We all have new appreciation for the city. As I was thinking about writing and documenting this precious family time, all thoughts flooded to our prior experience in Omaha. What a sweet, sweet redemption. New appreciation. Which was gained in so many ways the last few months.
I find it so ironic the weekend as we celebrated St. Pat’s day and the luck of the Irish. My sweet friend and leader in Blessings Unlimited posted this picture that day. And I think the Schmidt’s can agree. We are blessed.