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DustyMark's Journey 11 Comments

December 21.

An unbelievable thing happened. Unbelievable.

We were hoping to get the last of our belongings out of the KC house this weekend so as soon as Pastor Chris finished online, I grabbed my coat and headed out. Gas station first and then to the house. But when you get there….you realize you still have a TON of stuff to pack up and take out but now you are just shoving into boxes and none of it makes sense. I’ve lost my garmin charger…some gift cards and other very important things. I know they are there…but just with like tools and toilet paper. Sigh. I remember last time I moved..I said I’d never do it again but I do think this time was better even though is feels like alot. I’ve been purging for a year. God laid on my heart to let go of things stuff and activities. Now I know why and wished I had gone at it harder. I had helpers at the house Sunday and we filled 6 cars!! I still had more to pick up. Now I have been going through those car boxes to find those things that got thrown together.

So anyways…we headed to the house and unloaded. Aly had 3 friends here and one brought their brother. Hatcher and Cooper unloaded all the cars without being asked. It was lovely. Alys friends helped her get her room together and I kept going at it. I knew we had dinner coming so I waited for that. I was contemplating a trip to Meijer in Fremont or something but everytime I think I’ll be able to do that I realize I am being unrealistic. Stacie brought dinner and the kids were making a fire outside and then she said I needed to go outside for something. She was so chill and cool. I was wondering if someone made something or what? She told us to put on our coats. I did. I just never put shoes on. As we were walking out the door I saw candles and heard a baby cry. I saw the twins (Longs) and figured people had come to carol. I didn’t think much of it. I’m not a huge caroler…I always wonder what the people are thinking when we sing to them (when we go out with the church in past years). So I walked out and was blown away. My entire front yard was filled with people. FILLED. They started singing and I just scoured the crowd looking at all who was there. I couldn’t see in the back well so I scanned again. I saw my Aunt Linda, my Aunt Marilyn (and uncle doug)…..I saw my cousin Dougie and his wife Tracy…I saw my cousin Shelly with her crazy lit up hat…the Grabills, and the list goes on and on. People that have been there almost daily and people I haven’t seen in years. I looked in the front row again and saw Amy. Her husband passed away almost 2 months ago. She has 3 kids and I consider her a friend. I couldn’t go to the funeral. I haven’t been able to see her or talk to her and she was there! Singing to ME! I don’t know how to explain it. She no longer had her husband…I did. And she still came. At that, point I lost it. I turned my head and started sobbing. Everything from the last few months just came down on me. All those faces and families that took time to just come sing for 15 mins JUST to show they love us. I was wondering…why us? Why do they care so much? I could have never ever imagined. I saw my brother way in the back. He drove from Rockford…to sing to for 15 mins and then go home. Most would say…why go? I won’t be missed. I looked and looked at each face (after I pulled myself together) to make a memory and to see who all was there so I would never forget. After our family night services at church, we sing a song where we all get in a circle and hold hands. We were encouraged to LOOK all around us. So everytime we do that I go around the circle and look at everyone. Sometimes I make contact, sometimes not. But I took that approach and LOOKED at everyone I could…and still missed some. My girls knew.. I had NO idea! No clue. I will never forget Sunday night December 19th 2021. We felt lifted up, important, loved…and not forgotten. A community. What better way to start a journey in a new home and a holiday that is far from what you ever thought it was going to be. I know people were instructed to leave right after but I had to grab Amy and hug her and Nikki…and my cousin Jennifer…and and and and. Sue Abbot was there and I haven’t seen her since I was a teen!!



We went inside and chatted with a family that often brings me Aldi groceries and then when they left…Cora and I took turns reading all the cards ou tloud. We both had to pull ourselves together because it was just so emotional. The cards and gifts were lovely. I don’t want our kids to remember this Christmas as the Christmas their dad was sick. I don’t want them to associate it with sadness and negativity…I want them to remember all the love and support. Yes, we moved. Yes, dad is sick..but look at what we have!!! it was unbelievable.

To TOP IT OFF….when Mark was picked up for dialysis on Monday…I unboxed and cleaned (and went for a truckload from the house) but then I as able to shower (yes this is a big deal) and get ready for a spa date my girlfriends (and even people I only know through social media and have never met) set up for me. Funny story…I sent Mark off and even though I knew the electrician was coming and the inspector as well, I got into the hot tub. I sat down with my coffee and said out loud “oh, hot tub I’ve missed you.” and I wasn’t in 3 mins before I realized I was suppose to get in AFTER the inspection so I jumped out fast, dried off and redressed before I was caught soaking. So after the inspection and all that jazz…I headed off to Fremont. First a massage. I am very much aware that I need to geT my back adjusted. My SI joint is like stuck and when she pushed on my left side it almost hurt. But still the whole experience was great and I said to myself…”self, you need to do this more!”. After that I headed to the Freckled Fawn. I have heard great things about this place but have never been there or even seen it. I have had no reason to go to Fremont. I am an old building junkie and so I was in love!! Wood floors, tall ceilings, old doors, pillars and mysterious second floors are all fabulous to me. First I had a facial. I didn’t even know what was happening next.ย  I just knew I had to do nothing but be there. That was nice. I instructed my kids to not text or call me unless they could not get ahold of mark and it was an emergency. I still was asked about stud finders and where screws were…and where were some converse. Other than that they did good. After several layers of whatever on my face (it all smelled and felt lovely) I was directed to sit in this beautiful chair while this young lady put makeup on my face. It was so relaxing to be pampered. I remember when the girls were little. I just wanted a cat nap so I would lay on the sofa and give them the makeup brushes to pretend to put makeup on me. The brushes were soft and relaxing and it kept them occupied enough for me to rest or relax before getting up and finding a second wind to finish the day. The brushes at the FF felt even better! I loved what she did and I booked her for Karson’s wedding. Lastly, I had my hair washed (also a big deal) and blown out and curls put in. I enjoyed the conversation with my stylist. She is one of 7 and coud totally relate to my life with 6 kids. I looked at myself and it looked like I could fall asleep right in the chair. I did not…but I could have. The salon is very chic and professional. I could not believe how many gals came in to get their lashes done! One after another. I mean they look great but I could never be that person. However, if you ARE that person…go there. They are good!!

Stacie picked me up about 6:30 and drove me to the Forager in Howard City. They are actually closed on Mondays..but when you know the owners (her not me)…you get a private party in the dining room with 6 other gals. We had lovely appetizers and entrees (I’m still drooling and I ate my leftovers COLD in the car today) and some wine. I talked too much because I don’t always get to talk like I like to. I don’t instruct…I don’t work at the boutique…I don’t get to hang with my girlfriends. Women need to speak like 10,000 words a day! I enjoyed the night and my girlfriends and I felt loved. I knew Mark was home with the kids and doing fine and I wasn’t worried.

Today…Tuesday…Cora took Mark to dialysis. I stayed home for a Fed Ex pick up and the hopes of a final plumbing inspection. I also unpacked those crazy misc boxes and tried to get the other kids to help out breaking down boxes etc. My dad came to get all the details of the slim pantry I want built. I quickly cut the 1×6 we did have and sent him on his way with plans and some supplies so he could get started. My dad doesn’t move fast but he does like to stay busy. He is good with engineering and design and I knew he would love to help. I woudn’t be surprised if I had that cabinet by Christmas. I took off at 12:30 to stop at the DG (dollar general) to get deoderant …finally ( you are welcome) and ornament hooks, command hooks, tissue paper (they are all out!) and gift bags. I was on my way to meet Mark and Cora so Cora could go on her coffee date and I could take Mark to his fistula appointment. FEd Ex never came. (we did pass the final plumbing…via photos through text!! what??)

Marks appointment and procedure was to look into his arm and fistula and see if there was narrowing or any issues in the fistula to explain why it wasn’t doing so great. He was lightly sedated and had a dye injected and they looked around. They did not find anything. They said the dialysis nurse needed to hit 2 specific spots and it should be fine and even start to mature better. It’s possible he might need to have a vein tied off but for right now they think it will be fine if they put the needles in different spots. They even drew on his arm. I shoud have taken photos.

We stopped at the house…and helped get that final load. Once again…I’m like, “what is all this crap!” We were able to get the dialysis machine and pure flow system loaded and to my house. I think I was extra anxious about getting it to my house and now that it is here..I feel better. I only have to go back, clean up box messes in my porch and grab my rug and some items left on the porch. I think we are done. I think we can hand over the keys. Gone are the pool parties and the second upstairs…the large pantry and the beautiful spring colors. I’ll miss the mexican music floating over the orchard trees in season and the spanish language chatter next to my house. I’ll miss my running routes thorugh the orchards…and this really beautiful spot up on the hill. I’ll miss my historical house and all its details but I’m am excited to make this my home now. One place. Simple. Small. I can do this.

We lack space but I can throw stuff out and I can make this work. This is when the creativity starts to flow. Our main goal is the get the boxes out of here so we can have a Christmas without stepping over junk. I aim to get things in thier places and if they don’t have places…toss it. I imagine I will do this for 3 months and then we need to focus on Aly’s open house and getting ready for that! If its not one thing its another. All good things. Babies, weddings, graduation. All good things. All things I’m thankful for but they do all require energy all the same.

Our car was temp fixed but it’s not running right so we will pray we can get it in tomorrow and get it fixed before Monday…but if not we will take the truck to Ann Arbor. We meet with Dr V at UofM on Monday and the we are suppose to get and MRI here next week to look at the kidney and see what is happening and if the treatment is working. Thats the next big appointment.

I cannot believe how fast the last 4 months have gone. I feel like we are just being pushed through the gates…just trying to stay on top and not get trampled. Dont’ get me wrong…I feel very loved and supported but I feel tired!

Thank you to everyone…AGAIN…for the meals, the trips to my house to put on hardware so Mark can open the trash drawer, for the spa days and the singing and the cards….the prayers…the consistency in it all.

I’m excited to see how God plays this all out.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Comments 11

  1. Love you guys and we are happy you got to spend some girl time with your friends! Prayers! Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ

  2. The story about all those people in your front yard made me cry. You have amazing people surrounding you – I’m so thankful! We continue to pray for you every day.

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  3. Merry Christmas, glad you’re in the new house and getting settled. Praying about your upcoming appointments. The Lord bless you both and comfort your hearts.

  4. Merry Christmas to you all.
    May the road rise up to meet you;
    May the wind be always at your back;
    And may God hold you in the palm of
    His hands.

    Cousin Cindy

  5. My heart is full knowing yours is. What beautiful gestures from the many people who love you. Merry Christmas, Dusty and family โค๏ธ

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  6. Merry Christmas to you all. ๐ŸŽ„Thanks for sharing this update. Tears of gratitude flowing for the beautiful community you are surrounded by. God is good.โค๏ธ

  7. We continue to pray for Mark and your beautiful family. Sounds like you have many amazing people in your corner. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•.
    Who did your facial? My daughter Halie works there and does facials. I get one about once a month, so relaxing and girl, you deserve all the pampering.

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