Holding Steady In Houston

Houston is not a town I often refer to as near and dear. Quite the opposite, actually. I moved to Houston as a husband and father in April of 2007, and within three years, life had unraveled. My wife and I had split up and we were headed towards divorce, both attorneys (and eventually the judge) were recommending we file bankruptcy, and my relationship with my young children was about to enter a two-year tailspin as life kicked my butt around the block a few dozen times. Once all was said and done in December of 2010, I had hit bottom, and it would take nearly two years and a move to Austin before I started to even feel normal again.  The creation of this blog was a part of my healing process, as was a renewed focus on friendships and family, as well as working to spend all possible free time with my children. It took time plus a lot of tears and hard work, but slowly the pieces fell back into place. It was a dark period of my life and is one I am neither proud of nor excited to share, but an important period to keep in perspective as my growth as a person and as a father continues.  Houston was where it all happened, and by association, remains a tough place to visit.

Nonetheless, returning to Houston was in the plan this week as our dear friend Robin Vreeland made her latest quarterly rounds at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital for scans, probes, draws and consultations as her fight against colon cancer continues. In an expression of love and support, a few of her closest friends decided to “make a weekend out of it”, and traveled from all over the country to be here with Robin. Once the hospital visits ended, the cancer was quickly forgotten, and three days worth of fun and shenanigans ensued.beansgrouprobin2debmelgroup1karenrobin1train robingroup2final




Not Pictured: Tom Headline COVT and Ivette Huerta COVT

Although Houston will forever be a sour spot in my personal history, this weekend it represented love, laughter, hope, and friendship. Robin’s doctors report she is “holding steady”, with no further growths or progressions to be concerned with, for which we are all ecstatic. So in celebration, and with the assistance of a really cool house we found on Airbnb, we spent the weekend cooking together, eating together, laughing together, going on adventures together, and even sneaking in an obnoxious joke here and there.

Vision Therapy has given me many gifts over the years from the great doctors I’ve met, to the amazing therapists I’ve worked with, to the incredible patients with whom I’ve been able to share a part of their lives. This includes three friends from our crowd who were unable to make the trip Tom Headline, Natali Sutermeister, and Ivette Huerta. All of these people are some of the greatest gifts in my life, and VT or no VT, they are lifelong friends.

I love them dearly. Each and every one of them.



Posted on February 18, 2017, in From My Perspective.... Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What a wonderful gift to have such incredible camaraderie and enduring support systems/friendships!


  2. So good to hear about healing on several fronts…and to see visuals (no pun intended) of friends and colleagues across the country! You all look great in blue…who’s going to COVD in Jacksonville? As always, thanks Robert for putting it all into words. J


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