Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spew

I feel a dismantled blog coming on. Just a few things that have been on my mind recently.

It is July 30th, 2008. I've been back in the States for a month now. Much has changed. Much is changing. I know I am "physically" sitting in a cute, local bookstore in Loveland, Colorado. But the rest of me is scattered all over the place.

I've been thinking a lot about parts, sections, stages, chapters, and phases of life. Call if what you like. I'm goin with phases. I remember very well around 7, when I was no longer that cute little girl who could say virtually anything and people would laugh. So I moved into the "time to use your head" phase of my life. I remember at about 10, I realized I could no longer be the youngest person to do anything in the Guiness book of world records and being horribly devastated. I was now in the "being a normal kid" phase. I remember when my girlfriend Tiffany turned 16. Her birthday is before mine and one day she showed up in her parents car to drive us somewhere. This was the first time we drove anywhere alone and the whole time I thought, "We are gonna get in trouble. We must be breaking the law!" This was the "gaining responsibility" part. I remember when my parents dropped me at this place called "college" and drove away. I cried. This was the "little shove towards being on your own" phase.

Right now I am in a yet-to-be-labeled phase of my life. For example, when do we start calling girls "women" and boys "men"? Is there any age? Because at many awkward times I've been called a woman and looked around for who they were talking about. In Cambodia people commonly mistook me for 25 or older. I wanted to scream, "I'm only a child! I really shouldn't be here!" But indeed I can't fake 16 anymore and I have to move on. But it is still strange and in-between because I live at home, sometimes, yet, I lived in a foreign country, alone, for a year. This should make me instantly all grown up right? I still need my mom to figure out my insurance and credit cards. My friend Katelyn just got engaged. I am so, so happy for her. But it is so weird. She can't go getting married. We are just kids! Aren't we?

The word "identity" keeps appearing around me lately. Who am I? My identity is much different around certain people. There is an imaginary audience of people that I've been trying to impress, who probably never think about me or care about me. But my identity to them might have been "pretty" or "health nut". So now, things are different and it is difficult to engage in relationships where what they want for me and what I want for me are very, very different. If I were to paint a picture of me, what would it look like? Good question.

I just got back from Alaska this morning. We flew through the night and kinda crawled in the door this morning. The trip was great and beautiful and fun. My parents and I went with some friends/family of ours the Duppers. My dad and Larry had meetings, but we got to play a lot too. We saw Mt.Denali or Mt.McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. I got to go sea kayaking and see otters and moose. We hiked. We saw some awesome glaciers. We ate a lot of ice cream. We had a really good time.

I think what I liked best about Alaska was this: making new memories. I have been stuck the last month between Cambodia and today. I've just been re-adjusting and thinking and probably spending way too much time alone. It was good to go and enjoy and not think about Cambodia. Well, that's impossible. But I didn't think about Cambodia, as much. I just did new things and enjoyed being with people I love.

"Do what you like and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind."

Way to be Dr.Seuss.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spiritual

Spirituality. This word seems to keep popping up in my life a lot lately. The word “spiritual” according to dictionary.com means:
1. Of, consisting of spirit
2. Of, or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature

It isn’t until the 7th listed definition that “religion” is mentioned. It is not until the 8th definition that “church” is mentioned. I guess something about seeing the word “soul” in the second definition really struck me. I have always related spirituality and God. Because non-Christians can be spiritual. I’ve been talking to several people recently about what they think spirituality means.

As I talked about some of my experiences in Cambodia, my counselor said, “It sounds like you had a spiritual experience.” I stopped her. “Why would you say that? I left a strong Christian and came back a….I don’t even know.” She went on to say that the word “spirit” is most closely linked with the word “soul”. So I suppose saying I had “an experience with my soul” sounds correct, but “spiritual” just doesn’t. I told her I felt like I went to Cambodia for two main reasons: to kick the eating disorder and to find God for myself, neither of which happened.

My friend Ben Barber talks to me about God. He doesn’t lecture me about God. He doesn’t even make a lot of firm statements. Ben asks a lot of questions. He is an excellent listener. He continues learning. I love talking about God with Ben, because he encourages the journey I am on. I can’t say anything to scare him away. I have yet to be too bad or too messed up for him. No matter what I do he is there to help me through it.

I have control issues. I have a hard time just letting life happen. No, I am downright awful at just letting life happen! The phrase, “Let it go. Let it be” came into my head as I was driving home yesterday. So the Beatles song automatically came with it:

“Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be, whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people, living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see,
There will be an answer, let it be.”

This song spoke to my soul. Does that mean it was spiritual to me? I kept singing those words, “Let it be. Let it be”. I was nearly whispering them to no one in particular as I drove down the highway. I need help letting life just happen. So if I was singing these words as a petition, a request, for a change in my life, does that make it a prayer, even if I don’t know who I am talking to?

While I was at it, I looked up “prayer” in the dictionary as well:

1. To offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to (God or an object of worship)

Yesterday I went for a walk. Often I’ll take my cell phone and chat with a friend while I walk. Nine times out of ten I call my sister. But yesterday, I walked and held my cell phone in my hand. I thought of who I might want to talk to. I kept thinking and thinking, “If I could talk to anyone in the world right now, who would I want to talk to?” I wanted to listen to someone comforting, understanding, grounded, real, and honest. Still, I thought of no one. It is not that I don’t have comforting or understanding people in my life, I have many. But I wanted more. A few steps further I realized, who I really wanted to talk to, more than anyone, was God.

I didn’t though. I just kept walking. It is hard to consider God when it seems like such an uphill battle to decipher truth from all the lies. I hate, I repeat hate, the competitive, trendy attitude some people take with God. “Yes, I did my devotions today, like I have every day for the last 27 years” or “Oh you don’t take your tithe out of your paycheck automatically? Hmmmm.” or “Have you read the last Max Lucado? Oh well then you won’t understand this!” Congratulations. Sometimes I think it would be easier to know God if church didn’t exist at all. If we could all live in happy little cubicles and everyone could keep their ideas and feelings about God to themselves. Ah, now that would be heaven!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Babysitter

Thursday, I babysat for my cousin Angie. "Babysitting" just doesn't seem to fit. Really, Angie just let me hang out with her kids and I got paid for it. She is raising two remarkable little girls. Oriel and Cosette help me understand why some women want to have kids. Even my mom admitted she wasn't really planning on ever having kids. I think my total babysitting appointments can be totaled to: 5-6. I'm just not who people think of when they need a babysitter. I'm not complaining. We are what we are. And from experience, we now know, maybe constantly being with little kids, just isn't my thing.

Cosette is the youngest at 2 years old. She already knows so much. She is horribly allergic to nuts. When I saw her a few weeks ago, my sister Ashley offered her a drink of water and she carefully looked at Ashley and said, "Nuts?" She is trained to always ask and check her foods. She is two!

I was wiping peach yogurt off her face post-snacktime, when she grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You are not my babysitter!" Oh no, she knew the truth! I was wondering what she thought I was. I said, "What am I?" She started giggling and said, "You're my sister. I love you." It was much sweeter coming from her mouth than mine, trust me. I could've just melted right there in the kitchen.

Later, I was putting her down for a nap and she was picking a story for me to read. It was some book about God. I read it softly, hoping her eyes would soon close. The book said God is big, gentle, loving, a friend. I think I benefited from the book more than she did.

Earlier this week I talked to one of my favorite human beings on planet earth, my brother-in-law, Ben Barber. I don't think there is any topic we haven't talked about, at least briefly. We wandered to the topic of God. I'm still very unsure about what I believe. I don't fully understand how 10 people can tell you who God is and they'll all be different, yet they'll all be correct. How can we all have the right picture of God? It is the vastly different pictures of God that make me doubt. Because if God is only one person, isn't someone making it up? I want to believe in God, but I won't do so blindly under pressure, or because I "should". I'm trying not to think or stress about it too much. Ben said, "Assume that what you know about God is the truth. When you hear something about God, always ask, "Is this true to me?" Allow yourself the freedom to search and learn. What is true? What do you know for sure?"

I know that there is good and evil.
I have experienced love.
I have experienced pain and joy.
I know I enjoy taking a Sabbath, no matter what my other beliefs. I like the idea of slowing down long enough to remind me I am a human being.
I know I like to take a moment before I eat, drive my car, or leave my house, to be grateful for what I have. It usually goes, "To whomever I should be grateful, I really am. Thankyou."
I know I like to have quiet time alone. I like to meditate.
I know I love talking about spirituality with some people.
I know I hate talking about spirituality with some people.

I like to think there is something bigger than me.
I like to think there is reason and purpose.
I like to think that what I do matters.
I like to think that there is a God who loves and cares.

But until I know, I will only "like to think" those things.

Sometimes, I will be overwhelmed by being home or the layers of the mountains you can see early in the morning. Other times, I will be overwhelmed by my own selfishness or lack of put-togetherness. It is in these moments where I am slightly aware of "something" that I whisper outloud, or just think in my head, "God, if this is God, I want to believe. Please, if you are there, I need you to prove it in a big way. Thanks."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Is It Time To Call It Quits?

I've wrestled often and painfully with the following question for a large part of my life:

When is it time to call it quits?

When I was a little girl and wanted to get a attention, a "never give up" attitude made friends. When I was a freshman in highschool, a "never give up" attitude got a place on the Varsity basketball team. When I was a student throughout my life, a "never give up" attitude got me on the honor roll. And yet, I still ponder, what did my "never give up" attitude get me in Cambodia?

I am glad I went. In fact, I made a list of all the reasons I am sure that going to Cambodia was what I needed to do:
I met Tim and Fay possibly some of the most posititvely influential people I've ever met.
I am now a "world traveler", knowledgable about southeast Asia, other cultures, and other ways of life.
I taught children about more than just grammar. I call them "my" kids.
I met Kagna, Nika, David Pen, Tulip, Sen Vitya, kids who have changed me forever.
My eyes were opened to all the really loving, supportive people back home.
I learned to question many things; faith, reality, absolutes, morals
I befriended natives like JC, Sokcha, Angie, Ross and Kamrong who gave me a more hopeful image of what Cambodia can be.
I saw things I will never forget that widened my view of the world.

I feel like I have needed even more convincing about my decision to go to Cambodia lately. Between potential amoebas growing in my stomach, painful trauma counseling, sleeping pills, more doctors appointments, the pain of adjusting, and the recent addition of really terrifying nightmares, I wonder: Was it still worth it?

I was talking to a very insightful friend of mine, who has known me a long time, he said, "Heather, you've never been very good at giving up. It has always been a negative thought for you. But I think there are some times when it is ok to just throw in the towel, to acknowledge that the situation you are in is not healthy or positive and say, "It's time for me to move on."

I sat at an outdoor concert last week. There were several hundred people there listening to a little-known Celtic rock band as if they were the Beatles. People young and old were laughing and clapping and dancing and singing along. There was so much happiness around me. All I could think was, "How can these people be so happy with all that is going on in the world?" I used to and probably will enjoy things like concerts and finding a great deal on a dress at a store. But right now, it is difficult to find the same joy in things that I used to. Because instead of just relaxing and enjoying what is, I end up feeling guilty that I'm having fun at all. I feel guilty living in the United States. It makes me feel bad doing the things I used to do and never think twice about.

Since talking to other SM's, I've learned this is a common feeling. They say, "It fades". Is the fading memory of pain what enables us to move on and forget? Is that good or bad? Probably a bit of both.

Seeing my counselor last week, she helped me work through my anger and fear towards the Cambodian men I encountered on the street. At the beginning she told me to describe exactly, with detail, what the worst of the tormentors looked like or did. He was without a shirt, holding an infant, standing very powerfully; legs shoulder-width, the other hand in his waistband. He would stare into my eyes, sometimes elsewhere. He had a dominating presence that reminded me that I was in "his" country and no one would jump to save me. Sometimes he would call to me, make kissing noises, or lick his lips.

She helped me see that their own feelings of powerlessness is what drove them. Really, they had no reason 'not' to torment me. Why not? These weren't the educated, Christian men. It was the poverty that brought this out of them. Men lucky enough to attend university, who wore glasses and dressed nicely, gave me no problems. There is something about education that changes people. But the men on the street woke up to the same reality every day with very little hope. Tormenting an American girl made them feel powerful. By the end of the session, I was almost feeling sorry for them. Almost. It is no quick fix, but it's progress.

Progress.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
-Emerson

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Therapy and Healing and Moving On

This morning I mowed the lawn. My parents always tell me not to do it barefoot because some day I'm going to chop off my foot. But it is just so nice to have the option of going barefoot that I couldn't help myself. So even now, after I've showered, my feet are stained green, but it's ok. I remember thinking about mowing the lawn a few months ago and kind of looking forward to it. But as I pushed our supposedly "self-propelled" mower around the lawn, I think it used to be a lot more fun than it was this morning. Maybe it's because I used to get paid for all that work! As I was trudging around I was thinking, mowing the lawn seems to me the equivalent of wearing make-up every day. Everyday we put it on, only to wash it off each night. We grow lawns of grass only to cut it every week. It all just seems very pointless. Having a lawn is a luxury apparently becuase I never saw one in Cambodia. But maybe they are smarter because it isn't so much work.

I continue seeing people and talking about my experiences to a lot of people. If I am with my dad, he tells everyone. He's proud. And my response to, "How is it being home?" is always, "It's good." I'm not jumping up and down, the feeling kinda wears off. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I am so glad to be here instead of where I've been. But life returns to normal. It's not like you get more than one welcome home party. The party was had and we all move on.

I'm feeling a bit disconnected. I don't have a strong urge to call people or talk a lot. Most of the time I just want to be quiet. I have so much on my mind. At this point, I would much rather hear about someone else's life than talk more about mine. I think the urge may come little by little the longer I'm back. But it has been my reality for so long, I'm enjoying opportunities I get to not think about it.

I have had and will have doctor's appointments all week. We have to check with the ear doctor to make sure the tumor didn't grow back in my ear. I have to do blood tests. I have to get some new vitamins for maintaining my health, because I strongly avoid hard drugs. It's been a busy week.

On top of that, on Tuesday I saw a dietician. Stella, my counselor in Cambodia, recommended it. It went well. Chris, the woman I saw, I have actually seen before. Two summers ago I went to her also. She said I had grown up a lot and wasn't in denial of the ED any more. She gave me a meal plan to follow and it is really necessary at this point that I stick to it.

Towards the end I just had to ask her one question: "I've heard a lot of mixed ideas about this, but I have to know from you: Do you think people can ever recover from an eating disorder?" She took a moment and I could tell she'd been asked this question several times before.

"One-third of people with ED's end up in intense therapy and ED hospitals the rest of their lives. One-third live in their behaviors and habits, but never fully recover. And one-third heal completely. It is a memory, but not a struggle." She tried to assure me that in my condition of awareness and honesty, I can be in that upper one-third. I still didn't much care for the odds.

I asked, "I've been fighting this for the last 2 years of my life. How long should I prepare myself for to fully recover?" She told me that the average recovery takes 7-10 years. I wasn't shocked. But that isn't the best news either.

She said the first 2 years are almost always the hardest and the next few years are continuing to adress and deal with the thoughts. Either way, it is a scary number and I'm still trying to work through what that means for me. I could be 28 years old before this is a thing of the past.

From here I went to see a EMDR counselor, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing counselor. The gist: it is basically counseling specifically for trauma. We talked awhile, we start treatment on Friday.

Treatment. We start treatment. You know, like what people get when they are sick. I don't like that. I feel crazy, as though I didn't already. Towards the end, as we were leaving, she said, "Just so you know, if your insurance picks this up, it will always be on your permanent record." My permanent record. Have I comitted a crime? Am I guilty of something?

My psychology professor at Union told us that soldiers returning from Iraq have dealt with unbelievable amounts of trauma. Some of them seek counseling. But, it also stays on their permanent record, so they are less likely to get a good job afterwards.

What are we doing? Do we have to punish people because they have problems? Are we so concerned with labeling that we forget we are all human underneath? I never considered this question so deeply until I was sitting where I am sitting right now. I suppose no one ever does.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Convenience

When I opened Blogger to write this post, I didn't have to change the language because it came up in Vietnamese.

This afternoon I filled my water bottle straight from the faucet in our kitchen.

I just talked to my sister on my cell phone.

In the shower this morning, the water ran clear, instead of the usual brown.

During a purchase yesterday, the woman smiled at me and spoke English.

Somethings about being home just continue to amaze me.

As my mom and my sister can attest, going to the grocery store last week was quite an experience. Well, I still call it the "market" but they said, "The what?" We ventured off to King Soopers and I insisted we go up and down every, single aisle. It was immediately overwhelming, as most things are right now. It was so organized and clean and indoors and the smell didn't make me want to vomit! Wow.

We started in the produce section. They have everything! Pineapples, apples, grapes, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, any berries! Green beans, corn, beets, spinach, oh my! Sure produce is produce, but the packaged foods and convenience items are the most shocking. As we started in the salad section, I just kept thinking, "We are so lazy!" Pre-made salads, pre-cut carrots with little containers of ranch dressing, lemongrass in a convenient little tube, tofu, lettuce pre-washed and in handy little bags. Can we do anything by ourselves? I think our ancestors would be disappointed. Think of great-grand papa caveman. How many of us have even planted a seed and nurtured its growth? I haven't really since 4th grade and it came out of a styrofoam cup for science class.

We meandered past cheese, the deli, and get this, the meat comes in nice little packages already cut for you! Oh canned goods galore! Seems we are not satisfied with the already innumberable choices available here in the States, so we import the things we 'think' we need. Imported food sells too! Are we so discontent?

The frozen foods section may have been the biggest shock of all. This is the convenience hall of fame: appetizers, pre-made meals including desert, waffles, burritos, stir-fry's, veggies. We just defrost and eat it. You could have a pretty impressive dinner in about 6.5 minutes. None of the ice cream listed palm oil as the first ingredient. Yuck!

As we went, we ran into a few people we knew. I just sorta conversated with my eyes wide open, continuing to wander from side to side. There is just so much stuff!

The cereal aisle was fun because all I've been eating is corn flakes. All the others were imported at sometimes $12 a box. I didn't actually get any becuase I was overloaded by choices and couldn't actually pick one. I just gave up.

As we reached the last few aisles, my mom said, "Can we check out?" I looked her and said, "We haven't looked at every aisle yet!" My sister joked that I may want to scan the dog food aisle too. I rolled my eyes and continued. Who knows what other crazy stuff may await me on the coming aisles? I sauntered on as my mom and sister just followed, laughing.

The beverage aisle was last and indeed, not that exciting. If I wanted alcohol in Cambodia that would've been my chance to get it becuase there is no drinking age. It was just as un-tempting as it always has been.

We made our way to the front. And believe it or not the cart was far from overflowing. I made sure to get some instant macaroni and cheese, some toothpaste, and of course, salsa. We checked out at the counter, past the magazines seeming to only be advertising sex as far as I could tell. How many celebrity bodies in swimstuits can they possibly criticize before they realize, we all have cellulite! My sister and I sadly observed a blown up picture of skinny Eva Longoria, who must've just eaten a salad before the picture was taken, becuase it shouted, "Pregnant Longoria?" Oh give the girl a break. They must think most of us are pregnant based on the standards for looking "with child"!

Because of the new and continuing green movement, we put everything in our canvas bags and it may have the been the first 'feel good' event of the evening. The whole experience was far from miserable, just a lot to take in.

You may be thinking, "She was only gone a year!" or "Was this girl born yesterday?" Ya know, in many ways, it does feel that way. In some ways coming home comes with little adjustment. I still know where the trash can is at our house and how to work the DVD player better than my mom. But I suppose it's those bigger things about returning home that will continue to be an adjustment for awhile.

Have patience with me. Assume it's all weird becuase it probably is. My mom and I went shopping for some basics yesterday: underwear, tennis shoes, and Tylenol. We ventured to Target, Walmart and the like. I already started browsing the aisles a little more quickly and reminding myself this is how I used to live and will for awhile. I reminded myself that I should not feel guilty for this overabundance, I should be changed. Living in constant surplus may not kill me. And let's be honest, it is nice to have absolute everything you could ever need. But it is in that overabundance that I remember not everyone lives this way.

Not Kagna.
Not Pen David.
Not Tulip.
Not Leeta.
Not Le Chay.
Not JC.

I could go. Instead, I'll just remember and live accordingly.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Home At Last

I'm home. I could capitalize it and put a bunch of exclamation points, but that always annoys me and it is kinda hard to read. Can you just believe me when when I say, "I am thrilled!"?

Let's see. What has happened since I blogged last? Tim and Fay left before I did. So I closed up the house and did the final cleaning. I went to a cafe and met an interesting fellow from Italy, named Milo. I went out with the Mission College gang once last time. I slept my last night, took my last shower, and took my last crazy moto ride, the whole time thinking, "Oh, please, please, don't let me die now! Not the last ride ever. Why didn't I wear my helmet?" I survived.

I needed to leave home at 8:30am for the airport and some of my 11th grade girls were persistent in asking to taking me to the airport. So Reachany said, "Ms.Bo we'll be over Tuesday morning to help you finish packing, at about 6:30am." Six-thirty? I would still be sleeping at 6:30! I told her I really appreciated their thoughtfulness, but I thought it might be better if they came over at 8. So I got most everything done and at 7:30am, the doorbell rang, it was Tulip, "Goodmorning Ms.Bo! I know you said not to come until 8, but I've been sitting outside since 7am and was really bored!" We weighed my bags, packed up, drove to the airport and made the dreaded goodbyes. I cried, of course. But it was a lot easier knowing that yes, I was leaving them, but I was going home!

I could detail all of the traveling, but it was pretty boring and uneventful. I flew into Denver, Colorado at about 11:45pm Tuesday night, 26 hours later. It was dark so I couldn't see the mountains, bummer! But as soon as the wheels touched the runway, I started crying. It made me realize that, at many times during the year, I didn't actually believe I would make it home. Not in a dramatic way, like I would surely die. I just didn't really visualize or consider what home would be like, or that I would actually ever return there. It's a feeling I can't totally explain. As the flaps came up to bring our plane to a halt, I felt, amazed: Here I was, coming full circle from the runway where I departed a year ago. I flashed through the fear I felt, the loneliness, the anxiety, the stress, the chaos and knew, quite suddenly, "I can't believe I survived that" and "There is no way I did that all alone". I didn't know exactly who to thank or what to say. I just stood up, gathered my things and walked off the plane.

My parents and two close friends stood waiting for me. I cried, again. They were holding a big sign, "Welcome Heather. Our Cambodian survivor!" and gave me flowers. Yet still there was that kinda awkward silence standing waiting for my bags, where all we did was look at each other. Because asking, "So, how are you?" just didn't seem to fit. We just smiled and held each other. I took the deep breath I've been waiting to take. From then on, I've just been soaking it all in.

I got home and slept for three hours, then stayed awake the next 18. I just didn't want to close my eyes. I just kinda wandered around my house, looked at belongings I hadn't seen in a year. I forgot how much junk I have! I survived all year on the two 50 pound bags I brought home, so all this other stuff seems pretty, frivolous. But still nice, I won't lie. I cleaned out my closet. I went for a bike ride. I talked with friends. Ben and Ashley came. We went out for dinner. We talked. I laughed so hard my face hurt.

The best part about being home so far, is being in each moment and being completely happy in it. I know this is something we should be able to do anywhere, no matter the country, but I'm sorry, I just couldn't seem to. My good friend Tiffany came over, and sitting and talking with her I realized, there was no where else in the whole world I wanted to be, than sitting, talking with her. I heard each word she said, without defenses or dreading what I had to say next. I talked openly and happily because I feel at peace with friends and more able to be myself, someone I had lost a little bit of along the way.

I've been laughing more. Not because I should or am doing so uncomfortably because I don't understand what's going on.

I've been smiling a lot. Not for any reason in particular, just because. Though I can guess a few reasons.

I'm relaxed. Not because I'm alone meditating and forcing relaxation to save my health.

I feel at home. Not because I'm trying to make this home to get by. I feel at home, because I am home.


Unfortunately, all of my cell phone contacts got deleted. Oy! So, it's not that I don't want to talk to you, I can't! So please give me a ring, or leave me a message and I'll have your number again.

I compiled a list of people who wanted to get my blogs while I was gone. Well, now I'm home. So this will be the last blog that my Dad emails to you. But you can visit, heatherbo.blogspot.com anytime you wish. I'd like to keep blogging because it's good for me and I like to write. But, please keep in touch in other ways too. Ya know, we can just use the phone now, or surprise, surprise, we could look each other in the eyes. Yippee! A wonderful thing.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, emails, letters, packages, and everything else I'm not mentioning. The journey continues and I just won't ever forget what it has meant to me.

Thank you.