Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upriver Dawn Beckons Me

Often when I post a stunning scenery shot such as this, someone will ask, "Is that your view?" The answer is, yes. The mountains I've shown you are looking to the south from my deck, and this upriver dawn shot is, obviously, due east.

In 2008 my husband and I built our dream log home overlooking a sparkling river and layering shades of forested mountains in North Idaho. Yes, it is a shame he's not here to enjoy it, I usually nod in fake but polite agreement to that inevitable comment.

Except with those with whom I feel the closest, I refrain from informing anyone that my husband's absence is merely an illusion. He's here, alright. That's been made quite clear to me.

A profound experience hit me yesterday when I suddenly realized that all the weeping, mourning and introspective soul searching I've been doing since he died has all been for me, not for him. I have been so sorry for me. I still am, frankly.

I was driving down the road admiring the January sunshine and blue skies when, like an epiphaney, I fully grasped the concept that my husband is happy now. Boom, like a clap of thunder, I suddenly got it, and tears of joy welled up in my eyes for him.

This has been my belief all along; in fact, it's why my initial major emotion at the time of his death was anger at him for leaving me here and going off, tra la laa la laa, on his merry way to Heaven. "How nice for you," thought poor wittle me.

We've come to terms with that since then, you could say, and I sincerely am happy for him. I sense that he wants me to be happy, too. He worked so hard to provide me with all the nice things around me. If I don't enjoy them, then his efforts will have been in vain.

This makes perfect sense to me, and so with that in mind and a life-insurance check in the bank, I'm Googleing a road trip with Bric the Wonder Dog and my brand-new Nikon D90 DX 12.3 Digital SLR. Yesserie, Bob I me got one.

We're heading to where "the weather suits my soul," as Glenn Campbell once sang. There's an art show, a best girlfriend I miss a lot, and a mini-family reunion with my long-lost Pennsylvania cousins that I plan to indulge myself in enjoying. I can't wait to see the Southwest February desert through the lens of that new Nikon.

Of course I will share with you. I'm really into this blogging thing, which my son jokingly refers to as my "pretend job."

Last year, to attempt this trip would have never occurred to me. For one thing, my mother would have freaked out, fretted herself sick, and tried to tell me I couldn't do this alone. She needed to hear from me at least every-other day or she'd get worried. She didn't really have a life, so's to speak, near the end.

Mom had never in her 86 years ever traveled anywhere at the wheel of  big powerful, shiny pickup truck with a 95-pound-powerful male German Shepherd at her side. The ability and depth of Bric's devotion to protecting me was beyond her grasp. Whatever is the opposite of a dog person, that was my mom. Yes, as a matter of fact, she did like cats, but only one at a time.

She also, bless her heart, lacked much faith in a higher power. More than anyone I've ever known, my mom lived steadfastly in the now. She refused to examine her past and lacked the courage to contemplate her life beyond this one.

Near the end of her years, I sent her a Bible verse in the hope she would look it up and find comfort there. When I asked her later if she did so, she replied, "No. I was afraid to." My mom had a strong aversion to crying. To be seen weeping publicly would have completely mortified her. Yes, I am of Protestant German descent. Why do you ask?

I know I'm not being delusional, nor am I under the influence of anything except Prozac. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I have the feeling I'm embarking on a spiritual quest of sorts. My old pal Jack Daniels is definitely staying in the liquor store where he belongs, Bric will be always at my side, and in more ways than one, I will not be traveling alone.


  1. Well yippee skippy Sis - it's about time you started looking through the eyes the good Lord gave you and seeing the immense amount of beauty the Lord created for us. It's always a choice and I am thrilled you are making better ones now. I have always loved you. But I hated the choices you made at times. You were one of the very few who never forgot me on Veteran's Day even though my country did. God Bless you - I pray for you each day. Love, Steve Neff

  2. I really enjoyed this. I loved the song also.

  3. Oh, ((((Donna))))... I got tears in my eyes reading this! "YES!" I kept saying as I read on and on. Your plans sound absolutely perfect, and if your journeys led you this far to the southeast part of the country, a big, happy hug would await you my friend! You GO GIRL!

  4. After my son died, I remember being asked to go on a motorcycle trip. Not wanting to leave my sorrowful solitude, I balked at the idea. But I was coerced into going by well meaning family and friends...sitting on the back of that bike, somewhere in the Boston mountains- I remember calling out all the colors I was seeing- anything I could do that could make me really be there. After a while, the wind informed me too, be alive, be alive. I cried, but the wind dried those tears too. Good for you. Shaky, tearfully- go. And take your time, take your pics, stop and go, and begin again and again...your spirit is strong. Take it from me, the tears you cry empty you more and more every day, of sorrow. It is not selfish. It is what one does to keep the dam inside from breaking..."I'd rather let this river of pain run dry, than try to keep the dam from breaking, that'd tear me up I'll cry, over you...I'll cry."
    Big beams of light to you...
    take care-

  5. Lovely, lovely photo. Your upcoming journey sounds like an adventure for which you are ready, and I am cheering for you. As Jayne commented, there are a couple of TN gals who would love to see you on your travels if that should work out. I'm so glad Bric will be with you--a wonderful companion and joy on the road. Blessings, dear one. Blessings this day and in the days ahead.

  6. I like your perspective on things. And I'm having some serious Nikon envy here!

  7. G'day Donna ~ I cry for you of your husband passing over to the beautiful Heavens & smile at your beauty that shines from within you ... He always has His way of bringing us around. You never travel alone.

    When my son left us to join Jesus, I was frozen in time for too long, terrified.

    PS My music is working, maybe they had a glitch for a bit.

    Thank you for your sweet notes. Dr. said about another 3 weeks, oy!
    Have a beautiful weekend.

    TTFN ~ Marydon

  8. Sounds like a great trip. There is never anything wrong with looking back - as long as it is coupled with looking forward. Your experiences have made you who you are and who you are becoming, and enabled you to be a beacon for others.

    God bless you on your 'continued' journey!


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