Normally I share mostly exciting photos of various adventures, along with lighthearted stories and/or tips. This post details some recent struggles with the reality of our short existence. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to post this. Still not sure it’s the correct choice, but we’re all just trying to be as whole as possible now. I’m sorry to get so ‘real,’ but writing about pain is healing…right? With that in mind, feel free to just skip down to the easy stuff if you prefer, pictures and whatnot.
I haven’t shared in over two months. This is no way is unheard of for me but this time it’s different. This time I wasn’t out to sea (although I am now…), but waves continue to crash into and through me. Relentlessly. People tell me to keep my head above water but as soon as I find a moment of freshness, I am reminded of the truth and the current pushes me down again. It’s not like I don’t want to resurface, to rise above the depths of grief and disbelief – I do. But my heavy heart sinks and my spiraling thoughts pull me back down again.
Life is confusing. It’s unfair, unscripted, and completely unforgiving. I’ve known this for ages, mainly through the experience of others, but this time it hit home. And it hit hard.
This new reality and the pain it’s caused to us all has made me increasingly grateful for the adventures and experiences I have taken advantage of, even when skipping them would have been more convenient at the time. Like taking a ten-hour drive to Medford, Oregon to see my little brother. I almost backed out of that trip in October to save money and time, but in the light of November’s shitty events, I hold those brotherly memories dear, and haven’t once thought about the money that went into that trip.
Little did I know at the time that two weeks later I would be sitting with him at the side of an ICU hospital bed, praying together for the recovery of someone very special to us – someone whose first wobbly steps I witnessed, someone whom I had babysat. He was very young when I left home and I am ashamed to admit that I cannot recall a recent personal conversation with him. Recovery never came, but relief did. Our warrior found peace; something I’ve been struggling to find since. I sat there next to the bed until his adoring crowd thinned out that Sunday evening, determined not to let regret seep its way in. I’ve never before felt my heart shatter into so many pieces. But I suppose thus is the nature of life – the people we love will all leave us if not us before them…a hard concept to grasp for sure. The legacy left by this particular young man is more than I could have fathomed. At 18 years old, his wisdom surpassed many twice his age. We are all blessed for it.
I truly had been meaning to detail our trip to Medford right when we returned, but I didn’t get around to it. And then it just didn’t feel right, speaking of happy times, when joy was the furthest emotion from my stormy realm of tears and rage. I hurt for his immediate family – my family, who are just some of the most amazing and beautiful people I’ve ever met. I hurt when I remember how often I am away from those people who mean so much to me, thinking at any moment that we could in any instant and without warning, be struck by yet another incredibly unfair heartbreak.
Just three weeks after that miserable, yet loving weekend at the hospital, he visited me in a dream. In those moments our souls connected and I am beyond grateful for the time he took to come and comfort me. It’s been 9 weeks now since that Friday night that changed all our lives. The rage still flares up and the tears still fall down, but slowly, the waves are calming down around me. Very slowly.
“We hope you know how much we adore you for being you. For we will never be the same, since November the eighth at 4:52.” -The final lines of my letter to him.
While I am not quite ready to go into vigorous trip detail, I still want to share some favorite moments from that trip that I now cherish more than I ever thought I would.
To any and all family who take time out of their busy lives to skim through my stories – thanks so much! I love you and I can’t wait to come home and hang again!
Tallest waterfall in Oregon!
Quick pit stop at this beautiful park to climb some rocks.
Deepest lake in the United States! Drive the rim – it’s awesome. Would have loved to have seen it with snow but I imagine the drive would be a bit dangerous.
Where they shot parts of The Goonies!
ASTORIA & THE PETER IREDALE SHIPWRECK, OREGON:
View from the hill where the Astoria Tower stands tall.
THE OREGON DUNES:
SCOTTSBURG PARK- REEDSPORT, OREGON:
One of the most gorgeous sights I’ve ever seen! And to think we just happened upon it on the side of the road.
If you go during high season, you’re very likely to see the caves full. We did not…still cool though.