Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Unplanned

I've come back to "our mountains".  

The beautiful landscape of Utah.  

This time, our daughter accompanies me for her first experience of the state her daddy and I so deeply love.  She has heard our stories, seen our photographs, and witnessed our huge smiles as we have spoken of our few short years spent here.  

This trip almost didn't happen.  We were supposed to be somewhere else.  Those plans fell through last minute after our bags were already packed.  In a split second, I decided we would leave the next morning for Park City, Utah.

I am NOT a spontaneous person.  Tim was!  I like order and planning and "knowing" what to expect.  Losing Tim taught me many things.  Some lessons I never wanted to learn and some that have been delightfully enlightening.  Spontaneity is one of the latter.  

I was NOT the road trip driver in our family.  Riding in vehicles makes me sleepy.  I am severely directionally challenged.  Yet, I drove the 18 hours here without getting lost. And with only one speeding ticket.  (Sometimes I enjoy the loud music a bit too much and my lead foot takes over.  😳)

We have hiked Olympic Park and The Canyons over the past two days.  We did the most incredible zip line over a gorgeous mountain valley yesterday.  We have appointments at the Spa and plans to lounge poolside today.  

This morning, I find myself waking up for some time with God on our private veranda while our girl stays snuggled in bed. 

I am reflecting on the memories from our early years of marriage spent here in these mountains.

I am smiling.

Genuinely smiling.

Losing the love of my life has shown me that I never had control of anything to begin with.  It has reminded me to LIVE fully in each moment.  To stop worrying about every detail of the future and to ENJOY the now within the shelter and confines of God's guard rails.

What a blessing it is to be here with our daughter.

I see so much of Tim's vibrant personality in our girl.  She has his free spirit.  She loves to explore nature.  She laughs easily and loves deeply.  She is an amazing mixture of tough and soft, just like her Daddy was.  I am grateful to have this time with her as she prepares to begin her high school years.  It is an unplanned blessing.  

I'm learning that sometimes the unplanned becomes the loveliest part of life.  

Lord, open my heart to the "unplanned".  I don't want to miss a blessing from You because I am too busy planning my life. Guide me with your wisdom and place balance within me.  A balance of both proper preparation and a love for spontaneous adventure.  I welcome what You have for our future and I trust You to work in us to bring glory to yourself. Thank You, Father for this time to return to "our mountains".  It is healing to my soul.  Amen

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Place Where Joy and Sorrow Co-Mingle

I sit in a lawn chair staring at the sky. 

Fireworks burst before my eyes, but my mind is flashing even brighter with memories of years gone by.

Our first 4th of July, he propped the ladder against the side of his rent house and hopped up on the roof reaching down for my hand.  We lay there watching the sky explode in patriotic colors.

Fast forward five years to him holding our seven week old son while sitting on the rear compartment of our minivan in Plano, Texas to watch the fireworks.  I can see his ball cap on his head and Kolby with pacifier in mouth.  I remember what they wore.

Pops of color bring another flash of memory to us in lawn chairs in the bed of his truck lined with quilts as our one and two year old children stare in awe at the UCO spectacular show.

A splash of light floods the sky as years come tumbling through my mind.  Festivities with friends in our neighborhood, fun with new friends as time progresses, time with his oldest friend as both men have landed in Edmond.

The sound of a boom and tears slide down my cheeks as memories of the final 4th of July crash into my mind.  I am rearranging hospital furniture to get his bed closer to a window so he can see the beauty of America’s celebration.  We had planned to sneak up on the hospital roof, but he was too weak so we improvised.  He is so grateful for my efforts to help him experience some portion of normalcy in this slow march toward death's door.

I find myself happy and yet sad.  Tears of gratitude flow unashamedly beside tears of sadness. 

And I realize that one week out from 18 months into this journey;

this is the place where joy and sorrow co-mingle.  

Here, in my memories. 

It is both beautiful and hard. 

It is all together lovely and crushing; uplifting and devastating.

To have known a love so fierce,

To have been cherished so completely,

To have experienced in our twenty years what friends say many don’t know in a lifetime;

It is a privilege and it is heartbreaking at the same time.

Tim~ Loving you forever, missing you always….Lori