I was looking through pictures from our vacation to California we took late last summer. We spent a week with my father in law at his home on Lake Tahoe and a week with my mother in law at their home in Nevada City.
It was a wonderful time. Thus far in life, one of my favorites. We were able to do so many fun things... many great memories were made.
So I sat... looking through the pictures on my computer... reliving the fun memories in my mind... and then a picture of me popped up on my computer screen. It was a picture I do not remember seeing before. Given the angle of the picture, I must have taken it.. one of those 'self portrait' types. We are in the car, on the way home from California. Although I have sunglasses on, the curve of my smile... the tilt of my face.... it suddenly threw me back to that passage in time... just a short 11 months ago. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the happiness and contentment that I felt during that long car ride home to Washington state. I remember telling my husband more than once how happy I was and that I didn't want the trip to end. Vacation ending meant we had to go back to 'real life.' Even though, at the time, real life was pretty great too... this vacation was one of those amazing times in life.
I remember vividly, as we drove through the desert like surroundings of Oregon, wondering to myself what life would be bringing us next. I'm one of those people that like to have something off in the future of life to look forward to... I had hope and prayed at that moment in time that whatever life brought would be The Good Stuff.
Unfortunately, as Life often does, it had it's own plans for my family and I.
Two weeks after returning from our amazing vacation, life as I knew it would slowly begin to unravel. I would spend 101 days walking the most emotional journey of my life, hand in hand with my Dad. The outside world would eventually be non-existent to me. I would pull back from the world and spend 100% of my time with my Dad or my husband and son.... my Dad would receive the higher percentage of that time. There would be days that I would think I was going to drown in my own tears and other days I thought I would never smile again. The pain.. was too much. The hurt.. too heavy. The days of our wonderful vacation seemed years ago... but it had only been days. My mind would become forgetful, completely consumed with the pain of what I was living. Phone calls and emails from well meaning friends would go unanswered. Every thought would be prayers, pleading to God for answers, healing, strength and eventually.. to end the suffering and to take my beloved Dad home to Heaven..........
God eventually answers all prayers... and he did. And 8 months later, I'm still trying to find my way out of the fog.. back to my life that somehow... continued on without me mentally present in it.
As the days have passed, I have learned to laugh again... I have found my smile.... I am still working on my heart... it's wounds run deep... but I know will heal in time.
But I post this picture of me because I never want to forget how happy I was in that chapter of my life. I want use the picture to signify what life was like before I walked The Journey of 101 Days.
-3 pounds this week.
Blessings are all around you.... find them.