My parents did very little traveling. Once we went for a weekend to Nashville and I vaguely remember on one other occasion driving to Frankfort for a mini-vacation. The world outside Daviess County seemed like an unreachable destination. I did not see an ocean until I was in my twenties after I had moved away from home. The only place my parents ever drove to (on a regular basis) was Union County, Kentucky to visit my mom’s family and, specifically, Sturgis, where my grandparents lived. Once every couple of months we would skip Sunday School and church and travel the sixty miles to their home on Adams Street, directly across from the First Baptist Church, where my grandad served as deacon for over sixty years. I can still recall Sunday evenings sitting on their front porch swing and hearing my grandad’s voice soaring above all others during a rousing rendition of “Bringing in the Sheaves”. While many of my friends spent spring break in exotic places like Panama City Beach, mine was always in Sturgis.
Driving to Sturgis was something of an adventure in itself. I remember having to take a ferry across the Green River at one point and I came to memorize every little town we passed through along the way. When my dad would announce that we had arrived in Morganfield, I knew our journey was near an end. Morganfield was to Sturgis the same way I always imagined Mount Pilot was to Mayberry. Morganfield was just a twenty minute drive from Sturgis and if we were in Morganfield, I always knew, our journey was almost over.
So – I thought of all that while looking at a calendar the other day and realizing Lisa’s journey with breast cancer surgery and radiation was nearly over. In just a couple of weeks she will complete her radiation and soon we will head back to Cambridge, Ohio where she returns to work for another thirteen week assignment. The opportunity to return to Cambridge seemed too good to pass up as it will allow us to easily return home for follow up doctor appointments. Arizona is still on our minds and we are hoping to get back there this winter, God willing. But, for now, it is back to those crazy Buckeye fans and friends we have grown to love.
When I was little, that sixty mile trip to Sturgis, Kentucky seemed like two lifetimes of driving. Little boys and tight spaces are not a good mix. I thought we would never arrive and throughout the passing miles, my brother and I would ask our parents the most important question, “Are we there yet?” Their response was always the same: “Almost there!”
When Lisa was first diagnosed with cancer, the journey we would embark upon together seemed almost impassable and never ending. We did not know (really) where we were going or how we would get there. But, now we see the end and are excited that this unexpected journey is nearly done.
We are in Morganfield with Sturgis just a few more miles ahead. And, if I listen real close, my grandfather is singing above everyone else.
Love, Steve and Lisa.