Friday, June 25, 2010

Genealogy and milestones

Spent today at the 2nd annual Colorado Family History Expo in Loveland. Listened to several experts tell me more and better ways to find my long-past relatives. I can't believe how much more confident I feel in my abilities compared to a year ago when I attended the first conference. I've worked hard and learned a lot, even though I've made mistakes, hit brick walls, and even done things the hard way a few times...and yet, I've still managed to add over 1,000 people to my family tree.

Spent time during my breaks today reflecting on this past year. A day before last years conference I left the hospital (for the 5th time in 6 months) carrying oxygen over my shoulder--determined to feel good enough to attend the first expo, since I'd been lucky enough to win a free ticket to the event. Entering the conference center marked the first day I ever had to wear oxygen in public. I pasted a smile on my predisone-puffed face and moved my shaky legs forward to my new kind of "normal."

Wearing oxygen among my mostly geriatric genealogy friends (yes, I am one of the few young'uns in the bunch) should have helped me to fit right in...but I couldn't have felt more conspicuous if I'd been wearing a purple polyester jumpsuit with hair to match. The few people who knew my situation were kind and gracious but I still hated explaining why the oxygen. I had almost convinced myself, after a day of explanations, that my O2 accessory was only a temporary thing until the antibiotics killed the MRSA for good. I desperately wanted to believe it.

A year later I am still wearing my O2 accessory--however, a much more stylin' model w/backpack, and I am much more confident in my abilities. I've hit some brick walls (stupid MRSA won't take the hint and leave); I've made some mistakes (wore the cannula upside down for the first month or so because Rheid swears that's how the oxygen delivery guy explained it to him); I've learned a lot (I can do difficult things); and I've worked hard to keep my faith strong (I believe Heavenly Father has a plan for my life). I have managed to add another year--and it feels good.

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