It certainly helps to have a great friend that will let you borrow her sports bra, hot pink tank top, purple satin shorts, and socks and running shoes, not to mention a hair elastic, ball cap, and aviators….Yup she completely outfitted me for my first climb up a mountain.
This climb is symbolic in so many ways….let’s face it…life is often an uphill climb, and just when you feel like you reached a plateau… a place to rest, all you have to do is look up ahead, and the top seems too steep, too Rocky, and way too treacherous to keep on keeping on.
Admittedly, this past 9 months have been a doozy! Had I been able to forsesee all that would have insued, I would probably would have happily crawled under the mountain of solid rock, and certainly wouldn’t have thought I could even have attempted a hike , much less reach the top.
It was a beautiful sunny morning the other day when Jeri and I decided to take a walk. There is nothing quite like breathing deep the Colorado mountain air. It is light, smells like freshly cut grass, and fragrant blooming flowers, along with the promise of a glacial stream in your future.
Lola, the adorable little boxer accompanied us as we strolled along. It makes me laugh because Jeri kept telling me to keep to the center of the path, when it would narrow cuz it’s “rattlesnake season.” ,” Terrific I told her, “then giggled and said, “are you trying to scare me?”
She then replied quite seriously, “and don’t forget mountain lions too….!” It reminded me that there are always predators lurking waiting to take you out, or have you for dinner.
During this whole hike I kept thinking about life, and how it goes often feel so uneven, so bumpy, and filled with scary, painful stuff. The path is sometimes wide, and lots of friends and family surround you, but then the path gets dirty, narrow, full of boulders, and you feel alone and abandoned.
It is in these lonely and forlorn spots, that you look ahead and think, “I just don’t want to do this anymore, I can’t continue, it is too difficult, and nobody but me seems to care anyhow.”
These are the times that I must remind myself that I am not alone. I have a constant companion who opens my eyes to the fact that I must fix my eyes only on the steps right there in front of me, and to not become discouraged or disheartened by looking to the seemingly unattainable peak.
When I see the spots of color in the brilliant orange flower along the way, it gives me hope. It says, “Don’t give up, I will never leave you or forsake you.” Jesus gives me hope.
Even in the middle of some of the hardest, most soul wrenching pain I have ever known, He is there, He is with me, and I rest in His all capable arms. I stopped often along our trek, feeling like my lungs would burst, and truthfully filled with nausea, so that I had to bend my head over, and place it between my knees….ugh…why does the path have to hurt so much?
My friend who walked beside me did not rush me, she did not make me feel weak or out of shape, even though I know that I am….no she quietly encouraged me. How great is that?
We prayed as we stepped along, or rather she mostly prayed, because I just needed to breathe….talking would have hindered that!
I joked with her that this was a good way to get me to shut up, what with all of the out of breathness I was feeling….at last the secret is out. Perhaps my other friends will now take me on hikes up mountains more often?
This month will be 9 months that my dear girl ascended into heaven, to join many of my other loved ones already there. It was 9 months that I carried her in my womb, and it would have been 18 years today that I have loved her. It is her birthday, June 10th.
We all loved her. Zach, Logan, Lorin and I shared intimate life with her. We cared for her, carried her in our arms, bathed her, diapered her, and wheeled her around in her wheelchair.
It has been such an extreme honor to have been able to have a remarkable creature such as her in our lives. I have said it before, but it bares repeating….”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”
I spent her entire life expectedly knowing I could lose her. I suppose it’s accurate to say that we lived life “BIG” because of this. I wanted her to experience everything.
It is with much satisfaction and joy that I recall this past summer of her final days here on this earth.
Abby, her dear friend from our neighborhood, and I took her to a unique visit at the Denver Zoo. We were treated to a behind the scenes look up close at the animals. It as fantastic. We all loved it! The skies were dark and threatening with thunder showers, but the sun peaked its determined head out, and illuminated our visit.
When Abby suggested a ride on the “Merry-go -round,” I thought she just meant for her. When we approached the woman operating the thing, she casually pulled out a ramp, and asked if Bianca wanted a ride too?
She was so happy as we spun in circles, it was so adorable, and we were free…and it felt so great. This photo below was actually taken at The Butterfly Pavillion years ago, but I just so love it. It is her sweet little face, showing not a lick of fear as a tarantula was placed on her.
Later on, last June, we went to visit my dear friend Susan up in Evergreen, and visited with her horses. Bianca just sat in the center of these gentle giants, and was delighted. The look of utter joy on her face was perfect..she was perfect!
Because I am somewhat crazy, and often don’t look before I leap….I rented a 30 ‘ long RV, and took it on a road trip up to Canada.. “Why not?” I asked myself. Bianca was literally in “hog heaven” in this beast. With every bump, and sway, she would giggle and just grin contentedly as she lay on the bed at the rear of the RV. Her little pop up DVD player played her favorite cartoons, and many times during our trip, Zach, Logan or I would go and lay beside her….
Man..but how that little girl comforted us. She just had this light in her, this joy..what an example of such a great way to live life. She couldn’t speak, not even one solitary word, but her laughter and screeches of utter bliss lighted our way like none other.
Up at the cottage in Northern Ontario she went for boat rides, and I even took her tubing. She adored going fast in the boat, such a little daredevil, and when we pulled her slowly behind the boat upon the tube, she kept giving me her “yucky face,” as if to say, “why are we going slow, I ain’t got no time for dis!”
I am so thankful that I got to know and be a Mother to my precious daughter for over 17 years. She filled my life with joy, with pain, hardship, despair, and laughter. She showed me, and all her family and friends how to live life with abandon.
Life is such a gift, and even today when my heart hurts like mad, with the missing of her, I’m just so filled with happy memories for who this blessed person was.
How a little girl could touch the core of your heart in such a profound manner is staggering to me.
Thank you Bianca Jillian for you. Thank you Lord for trusting our family and friends with lending us this angel to do life with. Our lives have been made so much richer with that sweet girl in it.
We remember you today Bianca, and know indeed with full assurance that you are filling heaven with your glorious self, and we are glad. Until I get to see your beloved face again, and dance with you among the clouds, and soar from star to star…I will miss you….we all….God bless…