I started out so strong.
Long talks filled themselves with possibilities, adventure, good times. It helped the winter months pass a bit faster. The kids grew more excited each day.
The ‘winter blue’s’ as we call them here in the Adirondacks were just beginning to grab too tight a hold of my throat, choking my airways, crushing the little one’s too.
But then she came as only she can, with warmth and days spent outside soaking it up. All those depressing months spent inside with the tots became a quick and distant memory.
It became clear yet again why we live where we do.
So, I sped for the water wings and sunglasses, sun block and noodles. I rummaged for beach towels and lined the flip-flops up just right.
I imagined all the memories they’ll make, adventures to be had with the endless number of cousins, friends.
This summer it’ll happen. We’ll finally learn how to swim and not hold onto the edge, camp on the pool stairs.
I was determined to stay organized. Keep plenty of food in the house, the sun block thick on their faces and arms. I had the bug spray and play clothes. I had the snacks and beach toys.
We were ready for summer!
My efforts are to be commended. My hard work applauded. I faithfully plastered the sun block. I loyally sprayed the bug spray. I bathed them when the sand was just too much and I fed them when they were hungry. I kept up on the housework, vacuuming and dusting even.
But, something happened between that long summer day and that night full of mosquitoes. Something overcame my valiant efforts like a slowly working caterpillar across our hot driveway.
And I threw in the towel. Literally.
We actually don’t even use towels anymore, running to dry off works fine. They hardly swim with their suits on—underwear or swimming naked seems to work best for us and we’re still holding onto the side of the pool, our lives depend on it.
They never have sun block on and I know the sand is an inch thick in their beds. I fed them frozen pepperoni’s the other day for lunch because it was all I had and let’s be honest bug bites are fun to itch.
Who needs that spray anyway?
Our legs are lined with bruises, all the flip-flops are missing.
We have our own ‘Lord of the Flies’ going on here as my children are pretty much running wild, their play clothes down to shredded underwear most days.
I keep waiting to hear the conch be blown as they run from one place to the next.
Yet, all those adventures I had as a child, the ones I imagine them to have—are happening.
They play and build weapons and race the four wheelers (sometimes crashing) and hop from one tree to the next. They jump rocks and catch toads, beetles, slugs, snakes. All before lunch. When I remember to give it to them.
We are BLESSED. We are having a fantastic summer!
I honestly am not even thinking much about the anniversary of Graham’s accident. This Friday marks the week it happened. When I do think of it, it’s crazy to ponder and does get hard to chew. The other night I woke up crying, which hasn’t happened in a LONG time.
Memories flooded for just a moment. The good and the bad.
But then it passed—it always does.
And we gallop once again through our summer days, catching butterflies and building forts.
I’m noticing lots of pictures of Fallon where she is trapped somewhere, unable to escape…..take a look!
Don’t let me fool you. My hobbies this summer include eating lots of sand, exploring the world of horse manure and dog poop (yes…eating too) and trying to convince my mom I can swim at 15 months.
In case you missed it. I finally shared my story through words. I have written a book and not just that, but got it published! You have all been so encouraging in your words and reviews of it. It’s pretty cool because I’m getting to see where and how the Lord is using it right NOW to touch people.
I’m sharing Friday night at the Word of Life Ranch Rodeo in Pottersville, where Graham was hurt. It’ll be surreal for me, being there on the same night where it all began. A place I once loved to be is hard for me now to walk into. I will have books there to sell and sign if anyone is interested.
Here’s what some people are saying about it: (you should check it out)
“I couldn’t stop reading….prepare to be stunned by redemption in the face of tragedy.” Christine Wyrtzen—Daughters of Promise
“I found the book riveting. It is a tremendous love story; love of one’s God, love of one’s family and most of all the love for one’s spouse.” P. Zabriskie
“I couldn’t put it down. A love story to the fullest extent.” M. Alto
“An incredible journey, a gripping read, a powerful story of tragedy and pursuit.” S. Birtch