Thank You Everyone
We're headed north to Lebanon, New Hampshire in two days. Our time here in Arkansas has been rewarding and exhausting. It was so great to be near our families and see everyone so often - it reminded me of the old days before Bentonville and nursing school. The boys have loved being near their cousins and spending the night with Grandparents.
Much love to everyone who re-arranged their schedules to accommodate us. We felt so loved and welcome during our trips to Northwest Arkansas. Despite busy days, school, and even out-of-country trips, our friends made time to see us and welcome us into their homes. We will miss you all - you are always welcome to stay if you come New England way.
In Little Rock we were fortunate enough to not only spend time with old friends, but even some friends who visited from out of state during Thanksgiving. Some we've not seen in years, and it was refreshing to see your faces again, to hear your laughter, and just to sit and eat together. Thank you so much for making time for us.
In Dallas, thanks to Suzy Madden (BA, my big sis) and the T2X crew for your friendship over so many years. It was incredible to finally meet you and trash ISA in person. Nothing personal, Dave, you know we love you. It was an unforgettable trip and I'm so glad we made it all work out.
To all who have fed us - thanks for making us feel at home and cooking our favorite stuff. My mom kept a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake around and I've been steadily chipping away at it since early November. I bequeath any remaining pieces to non-Weight Watchers who happen by the Johnson house. Mom- sorry I didn't eat more birds nests, but the boys had a blast making candy.
Thanks to the Bostics for tolerating our mess and noise these last few weeks. Sorry we were gone so much, but thank you for your grace and hospitality. Our families have been so generous to us these last few months and there are no words to express how loved and supported we have felt.
I should also make special mention of everyone who helped us move our junk around at one point or another. When we started travelling, our plan to store our furniture in Little Rock was thwarted by a massive snow storm. We have spent way too much time in the last three months relocating all of our household furniture from Bentonville to Searcy, and there's no way we could have done it by ourselves. Thanks to the Johnsons, Sledges, and Ellis' for doing the hard labor. I should also mention by buddy Tim Koch who selflessly braved the snow with us last February so we could get on the road to begin with. Also thanks to Aly Comacho for not pawning all of our stuff while we were away.
I guess everyone knows by now that when we head north this time, we plan to stay for awhile. I plan to be tested and approved for a heart transplant list at both Tufts Medical Center and Massachusetts General by February if all goes well. This means we will need to live within four hours of the transplant centers until I receive a new heart. Obviously we don't know how soon that may be, or how long it will take once I'm urgent enough to go to the top of the list. For more details on this go to my health update blog. If my health doesn't change much in the near future, I will be able to travel occasionally outside of that 4 hour window, so hopefully we'll be able to return home for the holidays (or at least some of them) next year.
We're sad to go, but as the great George Harrison once said, "All Things Must Pass." We're very excited about the opportunities awaiting us, both for my health, Christie's career, and the boy's homeschool and life experiences. If anything, our time in Little Rock has helped the boys to understand and remember the strong ties and roots we have here. Rich has been amazed at how many of our friends knew him when he was a baby. It's been a good experience, but we're ready for the next chapter, to get back out there on the road, see the world, meet new people, try new food, and have a new adventure. To those we leave behind, we love you and thank you so much for all you have done for us these past few months. Your prayers, support, laughter, and hospitality mean more than you will ever know.