© 2019 Terry Swails

THE WONDER YEARS

April 26, 2017

 

You've heard it.  You can't go back home.  It's never the same.  That's true, but what if going back home was even better?  

 

I lived in Bryan, Ohio from the age of three until I was 14 years-old. Bryan, with a population of about 8,500 folks, is the seat of Williams County tucked into the northwest corner of the state.  

 

Ever sample one of those Dum Dum suckers that come in a rainbow of flavors? Well, they are made by the Spangler Candy Company headquartered in Bryan.  How about playing with an Etch A Sketch?  Also made at one time by the Ohio Art Company located in Bryan. 

 

For me, the heart of Bryan was the First Presbyterian Church.  My dad was the minister there for about ten years. So the church was our second home.  I played in the game room with my best friend, Kirsten.  Sampled the grape juice for communion with my sister, and slid underneath the pews looking for spare change with my brother.  

 

Good stuff.  The best memories.

 

 

This past weekend I went back to Bryan with my mom, Dottie Wettstone, and my daughter, Eden.  The Bryan Area Business Women's Club had invited me to speak about breast cancer for their Total Women's Forum. 

 

Going home never felt better.

 

I was welcomed by old school friends, ladies from the Presbyterian Church who still remembered my family, former teachers, and old acquaintances.  

 

The photo of the preschool kids is my old class back in the day.  Not going to tell you which one I am but this was given to me by my preschool teacher.  Imagine still having this photo and sharing it with me.  

 

Talking about breast cancer and my journey is an incredibly personal thing.  But sharing with a community of caring women gives me strength.  It gives me determination to continue the fight head-on. I blogged incessantly about my journey as I went through it a year ago. It made the whole process so much easier.  My perspective as a cancer survivor, who is currently considered NED (No Evidence of Disease), is different than the one of a patient working through the endless dance of doctor visits, tests, and surgeries.  But it is no less important.  

 

I am grateful to the BABWC for allowing me to share my story.  I thank the ladies from the Presbyterian Church for coming and sharing with me the wonderful stories they remembered from my time as a child.  I thank my schoolmates for their support, and the support of the new friends I made that day.

 

You can go home again.

 

It can be incredible.

 

Carolyn

 

Ps My mother was so appreciative of our friends too!

 

 

 

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