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Daily Archives: June 25th, 2013

Sometimes life has a way of getting our attention. It makes us sit down, or stand up, and take notice of things that perhaps we were trying to hide, or avoid. Things that we need to act on.

That’s what happened to me.

When Dad died, my world changed, but it was more than just him being gone that changed. I had to face some realities of my own.

I made it to Alaska a week after Dad’s death, and two days later my Dad’s good friend drove me out to his cabin. I needed to go, he didn’t really want to go out there, but knew that it was something that I needed, and out of respect for my Dad, he took me. I had to be in my Dad’s space, I had to feel what was left of his “presence” if you know what I mean.

We drove out there is a shroud of silence mostly. Each of us struggling with our own grief and guilt.

I took some time to walk around outside and explore while Dean went into the cabin to light a fire. It was cold, highs in the low 30s. The cabin was frozen, and it never did warm up all the way. But then again, maybe that was just the way I felt.

As I walked around the trails that my Dad had made with his snow machine, I just took in the fresh, clean air. I cried. I called out to my Dad, and to G-d. I let my feelings wash over me.

As I was walking around, I stopped and looked out over the “ball field” that Dad had cleared, and just stood there.  Something happened to me there that I can’t really explain adequately. It was like a whirlwind of sorts, not violent, just swirling around me. And images from my life flashed before my eyes. Images that were painful. And the thought that kept presenting itself to my mind was “what am I doing?“.  I felt G-d’s presence and a sense of release and direction. Both things I had been praying for years without receiving.  I knew I had some changes to make. And I finally felt free to make them.

Those changes presented themselves over the course of the next 3-4 weeks.

I had to go back to Kansas, but I knew I had to get back to Alaska, where I felt I belonged (and have wanted to live for many years) but I needed my children with me. Notice I didn’t need anyone else. The reality of this wasn’t new to me, and I have felt if for many years. Preferring to hide it from the world, and largely from myself.

I was reluctant to admit my true feelings for a while. It took me almost a month to fully voice what I needed to do. I struggled with the feeling of failure, again. Feeling like I didn’t deserve to be happy, or just to be normal, again. I’ve been angry for so long, angry was my normal. I didn’t want to live that way any longer.

“Mud season”, that’s what Richie calls these life-altering times when our world gets turned upside down and inside out. He’s always saying “don’t make any life changing decisions during mud season”.  But for some of us, it takes mud season to prompt the life changing decisions and act of them. And as I’m learning, mud season (summer) is just a way of life up here. You learn to adapt and live with it.

Life changes, we adapt, and we go on.

I’m going on.

With clarity.

And peace.