Every memory we gained from our travels, every lesson we learned, every story we tell or blessing we have received from the trip just became 10 times more important about a month ago. Before I get into what has happened, let me catch the blog up on the Andrus clan and try and bridge where we left off to where we are now. Asher and Kieran continue to grow and are becoming much more thinking people than they were on the trip. We put them back in public school when we returned and they both have done well. The big boys are growing into men. Dax graduated from high school this past spring where he was the school’s outstanding history student. He also was a California Arts Scholar and a National AP Scholar, none of which surprised us. I would say Homecoming King was a surprise to his parents. Dax is now going to follow one of the dreams he talked about before our trip as he is off to become a “fresher” at Oxford in October. McKane is following in his brother’s footsteps although his feet are a full 5 sizes larger. He is going to be a sophomore this year and is a great student and friend and has kept all the zeal he had for life when he wrote his sixintheworld posts about keychains and coins. I have enjoyed my year of freelancing. I have had lots of great experiences and split my time between working for a venture capital firm, consulting companies on strategy and social media, sitting on advisory boards and boards of directors and entertaining a long string of prospective jobs. I have felt like Groucho Marx who said he wouldn’t belong to any club that would have him. On the job front I have turned down the companies that offered me and the ones I have wanted have turned me down. It was almost comical and I wondered if the 4 or 5 I was looking at in July would turn out the same. There was one I really liked in London, a couple I would consider in the Bay area and a really odd one which I could build anywhere.
As those were playing out however, everything turned upside down. As anyone who has read the blog can see Anne is a powerhouse. She is an incredible woman who can take on 3 full time tasks and do them all 100%. Since the trip she has not had as much energy and zeal. That still has not stopped her from stepping up and taking on the leadership of the women’s organziation at our church, serving others, taking an active role in the kids’ schools or running a great household; however a spark has been missing. When I have asked her to write something for the blog, she has said she couldn’t. She had planned on writing a book about the trip, but it never felt right. I don’t know all that went into her feelings, but I had worried that she might be depressed that the trip was such a high and that we might not reach those heights again…that the trip was such a great adventure and challenge and that “regular” life was too easy on one hand and too hard on the other. She always denied that anything was wrong and felt her allergies were what was wearing her down. As we have looked at jobs in Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, and London, I thought the new locales might bring back a sense of adventure for her, but nothing seemed to spark her interest or inspire her.
It wasn’t until late July when she checked into the hospital that we found out what had been wearing her down and what our next great adventure would be. After two weeks in the hospital and a major surgery, Anne returned home and is on the road to recovery. I felt comfortable sharing details of our trip even as other people warned, “What if you get robbed?” “What if someone kidnaps your kids because they read your blog?” I do not feel as comfortable sharing details about medical information so will keep the narrative a little vague and high level. If Anne feels comfortable sharing more when she feels better, she will. Suffice it to say that if she had not checked into the hospital and gone through the surgery and her subsequent treatment she would not have been with us for long. We feel great about her surgery and her treatment and we are doing everything to make a complete recovery a reality.
We are surrounded by great family and friends who are lifting us on their shoulders and carrying us through this difficult time. We also have great faith and believe in the power of prayer and are thankful to everyone who in their own way sends her prayers, thoughts or just good mojo. While we never would have chosen this adventure, it has shown up at our door, much like it shows up on so many doorsteps every day. And we are choosing to take it head on, grow from the experience and move on to a better adventure when this one is over. Our traveling days are not over but one of the most poignant things Anne said in the hospital when things were at their darkest was, “This sure makes me glad we did the trip when we did.” Amen to that.