I am a week out from being at our 16th family camp at Camp Crystal in Frankfort. There are not words to adequately explain the feeling of love, fellowship, and God-connections that occur at this place. I think the most telling sign is perhaps that our largest age group for class (besides adults of course) is our young adults. Yep, that means high school / college graduates still desire to return to this christian camp.
I had to approach camp a little differently this year as my physical limitations made getting to the dining hall and to the lake a challenge as both require climbing numerous steps. However, it all worked out thanks to my niece Janel, who not only brought me a golf cart but decorated it princess style!
Please note the amazing ladies in the cart who accompanied me to the many events around camp. Phyllis, Gladys, and Alene are 80+ years old, so they were deemed my “Golden Girls”. I envy these ladies and their zeal for life. Phyllis is 87 and recently returned from one of her frequent mission trips to Romania. She happened to mention that if her knee wasn’t bothering her she would be horseback riding through the woods the following week. Glady’s “special friend” was arriving from California the following Monday and she was picking him up from the airport at MIDNIGHT. I found this out after complimenting her on her beautiful manicure. Alene is a socializer, and she was the one we usually were waiting for as she would lose track of time talking and loving on someone every place we went. She rode in the back of the cart and would frequently see someone as we were pulling away and begin a conversation. I learned to just keep the cart rolling for fear we would miss our next event! Alene learned how to play the ukulele and a new dance step while at camp.
Before camp, I was feeling embarrassed about having to ride in the cart and even contemplated trying to manage the steps. I am so glad I overcame my pride as I would have missed out on the fellowship of these three beautiful ladies. Plus, when I gave a ride to three-year old Emmy, she proclaimed “only grammys and princesses get to ride on this”. Guess which one I am.
I crossed off another bucket list item – random travel. My friend Kim, four teens, and I were game to try it when stumped on what to do one afternoon. It involved flipping a coin at each major road to determine whether to turn left or right. It was a fun afternoon with some unique places we had never been to before. They (not I) handled a very large pet rat, picked berries, and visited a native store (??) that was beyond explanation.
One evening our teens planned and conducted the vesper service. Three teens gave powerful testimonies about how their communities came together to show God’s love. Hayden, a 17 year old young lady, who will be a senior at Lowell High School spoke about her schools’ Pink Arrow Pride. Their goal is to raise funds and awareness for the treatment and cure of cancer. Their motto is “we are a community fighting cancer”. Hayden presented me with her pink arrow shirt that she wore last year in support of me. The waterworks began.
Typically there is sadness at the end of camp but this year I had a gift waiting for me at home. While I was feasting on three hearty and delicious meals, relaxing on swings, and enjoying the fellowship at camp, my dedicated friends were slaving away at home turning my tragic bedroom into a crisp palette of grey (the “in” color, you know) and white. This is my Summer / Fall project to turn my bedroom into the sanctuary it deserves to be, instead of the room that acquires all the leftover and hammy down belongings. A big thank you to Lori, Laurie, Kevin and Nick for a beautiful gift. (No pictures yet as things are not complete for the final reveal – still need to get rid of the emerald green carpet).
My CT scan looms ahead on August 10th. Ugh, I am annoyed by this test as I deem it pointless as I already know the tumors in the groin / thigh are growing as I can feel them. I don’t want to know if cancer has spread to other places beyond here and the bone. Apparently, the scan is needed as a baseline measure before another treatment may be tried. I remind myself to be strong and to focus on what is immediately in front of me for the day. My discomfort from the tumors is unrelenting and evenings tend to be the hardest time for me as I am tired of dealing with it by the end of the day. I know it could be worse. Last night when I felt discouraged I was reminded of all I had already been through. I began to thank the Lord for not having any drains, having a voice, walking without a walker, and being able to sleep on my side and stomach. I need to remember to focus on the positives.
1 Thess: 5:8 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”