And Then, Just Like That, Everything Changes

We’ve spent the better part of the past year-and-a-half making plans. (Clearly, putting all of your stuff into storage and traveling the country takes a lot of planning.) And amazingly, all of that planning came together splendidly. We’ve had very few hiccups. A broken radiator in Massachusetts. That’s the only thing that sticks out. No major problems with our rentals. Even the weather, which we couldn’t plan for, has always cooperated during our long drives. It’s almost miraculous how well our plans have worked out.

And then, just like that, everything changes.

We arrived back at Havarti’s parents’ house—our official home base during this past year of traveling—in Chicagoland on Thursday night.

Friday afternoon, Havarti’s mom got a CT scan for some ongoing abdominal issues and was sent straight to the hospital. They found growths around several major organs, and hospital x-rays showed lesions in her lungs as well. The biopsy will take place tomorrow, but the doctors are 99% sure it’s cancer.

She’s 63 and otherwise in perfect health. She doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, eats well, and exercises. It’s a huge shock. Huge.

We’re hoping they’re wrong. We’re hoping for that 1% chance that it’s something else. But we’re also emotionally and logistically preparing for the worst. Our plans to move to WA at the end of this month are obviously off the table. We’re all just waiting to find out what we’re facing here.

But thank God we are here. We literally could have been anywhere around the country. And Havarti’s sister and her family just happened to have arrived from Australia last week as well. Obviously there’s no good time for something like this to happen, but I’m so grateful that we decided to end our travels a little earlier than originally planned so we were here when this news hit.

Havarti’s parents own and run their own business, so in addition to the emotional handling of things, there are logistical business issues that have to be figured out, too. The fact that we have the freedom to help with that stuff is a huge blessing.

If you pray, please keep the Reneau family in your prayers. Havarti’s mom is a saint of a woman. Her name is Judy. We love her dearly. And we hope—we plan—to keep her with us as long as possible.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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