Just remember I love you
And it will be alright~ Firefall
I struggle to know where to begin this part of our story for the simple fact I wish this wasn’t our story. I know there were good times but all in all, the pain dilutes those moments to a fuzzy grey. We arrived in Cross Hill, South Carolina two carefree kids out on a grand adventure to see the United States in our camper one move at a time. This was our third new place to call “home” for a brief stay and needless to say we left not quite the same.
Moving from an Island in Texas to a rural town in South Carolina would take some time getting adjusted to. I had looked forward to the lakefront campground only to be escorted to the “residential area” nowhere near the lake. We moved because this job was an opportunity to get in with the National Park Service and we were committed to making it work. Yes, we live in a camper so we didn’t have to stay in a place we weren’t happy, but it was temporary and we felt the pros outweighed the cons. When we move, there is always the challenge of work, bills still have to be paid and exploring new areas isn’t always cheap. I was offered a job at the campground while we were parking the camper so that obstacle was quickly out of the way.
The first few weeks we enjoyed our relatively private campsite. Only one of our four neighbors was there full-time and he was a model neighbor. We were the only ones with a dog so Sadie spent evenings chasing her purple ball, taking long walks and just hanging out on her tie-down. We had the place to ourselves and just relaxed outside in our camping chairs after work, cooking, talking, and listing to music. I have family in the area so a few times we lucked out and got picked up by my cousin for a boat ride around the lake. We were starting to adapt to the new environment and enjoying it.
Campground living can get interesting; I say this not to complain but to explain we aren’t always sitting around a great campfire with good friends singing kumbaya. A few new campers in the neighborhood and our quiet rural living would be converted to a circus. Neighbors with screaming unsupervised children, dogs roaming free, and my favorite buddy who chatted with himself all day.
Town was thirty minutes away so on our days off we typically drove into town for grocery shopping and a bite to eat. A routine lunch date quickly turned into something neither one of us could have ever expected. As I gazed lovingly across the table I failed to stop myself short before I blurted out “what’s that on your neck”. That thing on his neck, which would soon be known as Fred turned out to be cancer. Anyone who has been to the doctor knows we only found this fact after many visits, labs, CT scans, PET scans, and finally surgery. All of these appointments were 2 hours away in Asheville, and many miles were traveled back and forth. Fred was the secondary cancer to a tumor located where his tonsils used to be. He then endured 30 radiation treatments over the course of seven weeks.
When we returned from two months in Asheville we were happy to move to the lake for a little change of scenery. Jamie’s job was based on hours worked so our 6 months had been extended to 9 months. We ended up there almost a year waiting for him to heal and for the time to be right to move. I have been absent from this blog because I couldn’t bring myself to share the excuses for where I haven’t been and what I haven’t been doing. A travel blog without travel becomes difficult.
We were bruised by the events of this last year. We have lost two loved ones, fought cancer and left without a crew member. Our sweet Sadie is no longer with us so our little family doesn’t seem complete. I know I am leaving out a lot of details but that’s all I can emotionally give at this time. We are ready to move on and have. I look forward to sharing our new move to Charleston, South Carolina real soon.
Thanks for reading, until our next adventure!
Rebecca and Jamie