Exactly two years ago, on October 1, 2010, I was rolled out of surgery and heard my doctor utter words that would change the course of my life forever. . .
“It doesn’t look good…”
What was supposed to be a fairly routine 45 minute out-patient surgery turned into a four-hour tricky and challenging operation to remove a tumor.
“We’ve never seen anything like it,” the surgeon said. “It was a coagulated, oozy mess of a tumor and because our team of pathologists does not feel confident making a determination as to whether it is malignant or benign, we are sending it to the tumor experts at Harvard Medical Center where we will await their diagnosis. What I need to tell you, however, is that if this in fact malignant, this would not be the kind of thing you would overcome. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you need to know that this is the ugliest tumor I’ve seen in my 20+ years of practice.”
Over the next several days, I waited to hear my fate…
In those fear-induced, tear-drenched (and morphined) days that followed, I decided that if my doctor came back and told me that the tumor was benign, I was going to move. And not just across town or up north.
I was going to move completely out of California to a new state. I wanted to start over in a place where I didn’t know where to locate the nearest post office or how to pronounce names of neighboring towns. I wanted to move somewhere where they have wrap-around porches, where people say “Y’all” and they drink sweet tea.
If my doctor told me I was going to survive, I would survive with fresh hope and new perspective in a completely new place so I could experience a different way of life than that which I was accustomed to in Newport Beach.
Several years earlier, I’d remembered sitting through the end of the movie Hope Floats for the credits and thinking “I want to move wherever this movie is filmed someday.”
So five days after my surgery, when my doctor told me my tumor was in fact benign, I announced to my family that I would be moving to Austin, Texas.
And just six weeks after that, I loaded up a 14-foot U-Haul, with all the courage I could muster, and moved to a new town with no job and no friends ~ just an overmastering sense of joy and peace to start anew in the Lone Star state.
It’s been nearly two years since I arrived in Austin tumor-free. I remain overwhelmed by how this place has cultivated a sense of home in my soul. It just goes to show that sometimes you don’t know where you’re from until you move there.
Today, I’m counting my every blessing and grateful that regardless of where one decides to park their U-Haul, that hope does in fact still float…