Sunday, June 29, 2008

mama's trip away

I've been thinking that I needed some time away. Time to think things out. Time to lose it when I need to without freaking out the kids. Time to have conversations with other adults about this grief that I carry around like cement footware. So this weekend my mom, Oma, came to stay with the kids. I headed out to my good friend, Simon's, to relax. I figured he'd go and do whatever he had planned and I'd hang out and cry and sleep. I ended up having a less melancholy time than I had expected. There were definitely times that I sobbed, thought of Jeff endlessly and things we used to do together, wondered if he was 'with' me but I found that there was room in this weekend for both...the dark of sadness and a small flicker of the light of joy. At times, it felt foreign and pained to smile or laugh. I know Jeff would want me to laugh. I know he'd be laughing along with me.
Simon and I went quading. We drove logging roads and the paths up the power lines. (I usually hate ATVs as I feel that they destroy the natural forest floor and erode the fragile soil into creek beds....thanks for the guilt, Todd!) I took SO many photos and I even had enough time to work in manual the majority of the time without the pleas from Liv, "Come ON, Mama! Let's go over there!" I saw a tonne of native plants, bear poop, a few deer, a pileated woodpecker, etc....

Wild onions!
Indian Paint brush....
The power lines are crazy! HUGE strips of land covered in bloody scotch broom with enormous towers and cables.
The mosquitoes were AWFUL at the top of a hill we ascended. You could see a cloud of them around each of us.

I tried to take a photo or two on the back of the moving bike. Didn't work well.
Dipped our feet in a river...
Found a gargantuan beetle. I took a lot of pictures of it as I wanted Liv to see it. I brought home giant pinecones and a raven feather as well. Liv was so stoked and loved looking at all the pictures. She was having a hard time with me leaving over-night. So I gave her my smaller camera to take pictures of everything she did so she could show me when I got home. She was thrilled! As soon as I got home, she was showing me here photos.
Simon found a steep 30-35 metre drop off that he wanted to rappel down and climb up.

I got a lesson too!

We found this HUGE washout from the giant storms we had here in 2006. It was about the width of a football field and went right into the lake.
The weather was SO hot (about 40 degrees celcius). Driving down the logging roads was sweltering. Suddenly, you'd get a blast of COLD air preceding a waterfall. There were a lot of them but this one was my favourite.

The river here was so stinkin' cold. It's seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but there is so much evidence of the presence of humans. Large chunks of glass littered the ground. It broke my heart. Why would people just dump their bottles? In the depths of the woods, we'd find a pile of garbage...mattresses, newspapers, bottles, etc. Why?! It only costs a few dollars to take it to the dump. You'd spend more in gas getting out there.

This pile of logs was massive. Can you see the quad for size reference?

Those of you who know this island will know exactly where we were by this sign.
I had moments of extreme sadness. I know it is still so early on but I am hoping that with practice, I can learn to one day be happy again. To smile freely. To not have pleasant moments immediately proceeded by thoughts of those painful last moments with Jeff. To remember Jeff as he was in life, not at his death or the concussion blow to follow. I'd like to have my and the kids lives be a wonderful tribute to him, not a frozen and melancholy memorial.
I will never, ever, ever, stop loving or missing my love. But maybe, just maybe, I can carry these along with the help of the occasional happy moment. I'll let you know if it works. Do you think it's possible?


13mimosa said...

I think you're an amazing woman and a fantastic mama. I think that in time you will achieve all you hope for and find a way to live life with the wonderful memories you speak of and hopefully the pain of grief in the background. So glad you had a break for you, Simon seems like a dear friend and a what a great day of distraction.

Neurotic Chic said...

Wow, wow, wow. What a gorgeous place to spend some time "away". Beautiful. Sounds like it was kind of restorative for you.

I don't know why, because I don't know you and I didn't know Jeff - but I picture him watching you riding that ATV and rappelling and just grinning at the cool woman you are. :)

Kelsey said...

I am so glad you took the break and got some time away with a friend and without the kids. Sometimes being with a friend or two alone is so rejuvenating! Just being free. Taking time to try new things ( I have always wanted to rock climb!), do something you wouldn't normally do and not feeling guilty about it (I love quads myself and they just always make me feel free and open) , just knowing that it is okay to venture out and try new things and have fun is good!!! I am sure Jeff would much rather you be out having fun than be sitting at home sad. I am sure Jeff would want you to be as happy as you can with or without him! Make sure you take time for yourself even if it's just a little something to boost your spirits!