Monday, April 14, 2014

Every good moment...


The Hubs & me Anniversary camping in Door Cty.


This week Atticus and I are in Door County, Wisconsin—a tiny slice of heaven if you ask me. Gary thought so too. We came here just about every October for our anniversary. It offers the beauty of Lake Michigan, bluffs, trails, a little bit of shopping, and good food. Sometimes we’d camp, sometime we’d stay in a resort or motel, and for the last few years, we were fortunate enough to celebrate in a condo some friends insisted we use. That’s where I am now.

I came to write. The latest book needs some editing. But, there’s something else I felt I needed to do here. I call it reclaiming.  It takes time and great effort, and I am also discovering, it takes the fortitude of a Viking to glean what must be gleaned from a season of mourning.  I feel this urgency to reclaim things and places that meant so much to us. I don’t want to shun them, or ignore them, or allow them to become taboo or sad.  Of course, some places and things will be harder than others, but it all must be done if I am going to be able to eventually reclaim my own life.

The Cleveland Clan- Door County- circa1985-ish
Door County is one of those places. We started backpacking here thirty years ago. We brought our sons here to teach them about nature, camping and a tolerance for shopping. We dreamed dreams here, made plans here, laughed here, and loved here.

 On Sunday, I took Atticus on a hike on the shores of Lake Michigan. So many memories were made on these trails and camping sites. At one section of the park there are some huge rocks lining the shore. When the tide is out, you can hopscotch quite a ways out from the bank. I felt called there on Sunday. I needed to hear the water lap over those rocks and the melody that only that tide can sing.  Years ago, Gary and I stood on that exact spot, kissed and promised ourselves we’d one day repeat our vows there. We did eventually repeat our vows, but it wasn’t here. So, today I built a tiny Stonehenge-like rock pile in honor of us, our life together, and my life now. And, I thanked God for every good moment He gave us.  It just felt right.

Atticus having a romp in Lake Michigan
Earlier Sunday morning as I was walking into Al Johnson’s Restaurant, another of Gary’s favorite places, I passed a young couple holding hands. They were walking close and laughing. I was suddenly struck with the realization that I knew exactly how they felt. I knew because I had done that with Gary. We had held hands and walked so close together a broom straw wouldn’t have fit between us. I know that feeling and it is wonderful. For a brief moment, it made my heart glad. What a blessed life I’ve had to have been loved and to have loved like that. I breathed a quick prayer for the couple I had passed, that they would know, as I do, that when you love deeply, there is nothing to regret.
Me, Atticus & Door Cty.

Seeing that young couple together did not make me sad. It made me thankful for every good moment. God is indeed near.



Brad Crook said...

I love reading these! Keep them up!

Bill Minarik said...

Great writing. Any goats on Al Johnson's Roof?

The LuLu Chronicles said...

Thanks, Brad. And Bill, no goats this time. It's been snowing for the last two days, so I think the goats are still in Florida. Love yous guys...

listening said...

Reading your blog teaches me that personal healing has community and universal benefits. I am so challenged and encouraged by this open sharing of your grieving process. You continue to remind me how immense God is- and how adept He is at finding even the tiniest hairline fractures in our hearts and healing them. He wants His people to be whole. Thank you, Deb. You are a courageous woman.

Lindsey Hoffman said...

Sometimes a little voice in the back of my head asks, "What's the point of loving deeply when it all ends in pain and parting?" Thanks for giving me answers so I can talk back to it, Deb.