Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What Happens in Minnesota...Gets Blogged About

I opened my eyes Friday morning and hugged Tiffany. We were going to Minnesota!

I had waited six months for this trip and it was finally here! My heart was beating out of my chest. This was my first independent trip. I had made the hotel reservations, I made the plans, I did everything, and I was responsible for everything. I was responsible for a lot but the most significant piece of my trip was my parents trust. I had it Thursday night. I made sure I had it Tuesday morning.

So, Tiffany and I get in the car and it had begun. The first stop was not the hotel or my aunt's house. It was in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic. About a month ago, my friend Brian was diagnosed with leukemia. Everyone was shocked and very sad.  However, Brian is kicking cancer's butt. He just got a cancer free biopsy which is such a relief. Brian has a long journey ahead though. He has an intense round of chemo and a bone marrow transplant to endure. When I saw him, my heart smiled and I realized he was superman. He is who little boys should be looking up to. Brian does not need a cape; his smile proves he is superman. He was so positive and we had that banter that felt so normal. I met him when I was a young camper, now; I'm visiting him while he battles cancer. Relationships evolve to unimaginable things that make life so magical. It's crazy to think about. So, I get to say I met superman and I will be praying for him every day.

Funny little story. Tiffany called Lauren, my cousin, who I was having dinner with and she casually mentions we're at the hospital. Lauren is flipping out until Tiffany explains that we are visiting Brian. My bad! Sorry, Lauren!

Anyway, our next stop was my Aunt Sue's house. My uncle and her divorced years ago so it is always a blessing to see her. I gave her the longest hug when I saw her. However, her first words to us were, "GOD BLESS TIFFANY"! She couldn't have said it better! I'll talk about that later but it's how everyone felt throughout the weekend! We're at my aunt's house and Will, my godson is putting on a show. He was ON that night! He thought the island in the kitchen was a monkey bar, he would slide on the floor which was an ice rink, my wheelchair was a Zamboni, this kid is obsessed with hockey! I love it! It's the cutest thing in the world to this godmother! It was so great seeing my family!

After that, we got to the hotel and checked in. We go to the room and it IS NOT accessible. It's midnight; this is the last thing we need. Tiffany calls the front desk and asks why the heck were in this room. Tiffany can't get over how stupid the front desk is for not seeing the painfully obvious. I realized that Tiffany is going to see a parade of stupid throughout these four days. I'm used to the ignorance, she is not. I think it opened Tiffany's eyes to life outside Elmhurst for me.

We were headed to the Mall of America. We get in the car and the door won't close. The bottom of the door kept hitting the sidewalk since the road was slanted downward. The door won't close and the car won't move. So, I'm in downtown Minneapolis and calling Mommy and Daddy is not going to help anything. I went back to basics which is letting as many people see the issue because it always helps. I told Tiffany to get the valet guy who was being very nice to us. He noticed the weight of my chair was contributing to the fact that the door would not shut. I got out and the door shut, Tiffany moved the car closer. I got in and it was a success! Off to the largest mall in North America!

We had plans to see my friend, Amanda, for lunch. Amanda told us she was moving in three days and I sincerely appreciated her taking time out of her busy life for me. We hadn't seen each other in four years and it was so good to see her. She came into my life right before college and to see her a year after graduation was so cool. I'm not that 18 year old girl anymore, I am a 23 year old woman and it was weird to think about how my values and morals have changed. I've changed so much and at 18, I was the shell of the woman I am now. I hope I can say the same thing in another five years. It was so fun to see how our lives have changed and how our dreams have changed. We'll definitely keep in touch.

Tiffany and I shopped until we met Katherine for dinner. Katherine ran to me and gave me the biggest hug in the world. I felt at home in her arms. We did a little more shopping. I have never seen Katherine take to someone like she took to Tiffany. Katherine and I may be Tiffany's greatest fans. It was pure bliss! Katherine kept looking at me like I can't believe you made this trip happen. Of course I did, I love you too much not too.

I went to church with Aaron Sunday morning. Tiffany stayed at the hotel so she could have time to herself. In my opinion, this is crucial when someone has to help you for an extended period of time. Aaron may be my ex boyfriend but it was genuinely good to see him. I went to church with him back in December and his faith family welcomed me with open arms yet again. It was wonderful; we will always be good friends.

After church, I got to rest. I needed it! I had been going since Friday night and I needed a rest. We were expected to be at Lauren and Scott's house in two hours. I laid on the bed in a cushion of total happiness. 

We went to Lauren and Scott's house. I teared up at a flash back I was having. Scott was holding Will on the porch and I met my precious godson for the very first time. He was this little thing. Two years later, he was clinging to Lauren as he smiled at Tiffany and me. Will was acting like a typical two year old when we went in the backyard. He climbed on everything. He loves to honk my horn and his eyes light up whenever he does it! It was so great catching up with my aunt, Lauren, and Scott!

I was really tired after that visit and it led to a very funny scene. We both needed coffee, it was an emergency! So, we head to the gift shop and they are closed. Some employees see us and ask what we want. Coffee. They give us two cups of black coffee. We both look at each other and Tiffany starts adding sugar. I think it was 10 packets each. Needless to say, we looked like complete idiots! We chugged that coffee down. Suddenly, I was ready to have a lively dinner with Kate.

Kate was a counselor at Camp for two years. She and I had an undeniable bond. We just got each other. It was wonderful to see each other and she actually inspired me to write a poem when she said, "chase me down next time you're in town".

You all go your own way and so will I.
I will chase you down.
I will say the rosary with your family.
I will have Bachelor nights at Loyola Hospital.
I don’t mind, I will chase you down.
I will go to professor’s memorial services with you.
I will celebrate the gift of life with you.
I don’t mind, I will chase you down.
I will send myself in a box or envelope if you’re serving our country.
I will curse the people who do not give you the internship you dreamed of.
I don’t mind, I will chase you down.
I will watch your eyes become stars as your bride walks down the aisle.
I will be at your child’s first birthday party.
I don’t mind, I’ll chase you down.
I will always make you smile.
I will always make time for you, my dear friends.
I don’t mind because there was a time when I had nobody to chase down.
I don’t mind because you all have become a part of me.
I don’t ask for praise or glory when I chase you down. I’m happy to.
You all go your own way and so will I. 
Wherever you go, remember to chase me down too.

Tiffany, you gave me the trip of a lifetime. There are no words. You have left me speechless with your kindness. 

Remember to chase me down, 
Hannah!


Cherish the Ordinary

We take "our normal" for granted. Here are some moments that happened that were simple gifts.  One of the professors that...