So...it is December 19th. Jim walked away on October 19th. Two full months. Is that all? It seems like some sort of eternity. Life was so good, getting along well, having some good times with trips to Tucson with our three kids and their loves, great weekend at our old favorite Southern California beaches, a great four days in Phoenix, and plans, plans, plans for full retirement for both of us at the end of my school year. Jim's comment four days before leaving, when asked what retirement is all about for him: "It's about us being together more." Wow, how sweet is that.
Such a magnitude of change in just four short days and one profound discussion. What was he thinking? That we would all be okay; he's provided for us well? Did he know that our lives would be turned upside down; that his wife and children would leave their jobs and lives behind and search the hills and deserts around Sedona for weeks; that thousands of people all over the country would be praying for him, hoping for his return, and sharing their love with us? Did he know how many people would care; how much he has given to so many? Did he know how much he matters to his children, and their children? Did he feel some sort of emotional disturbance developing within his psyche? Did he leave with a sense of adventure, or deep sadness and uncertainty...or both?
I wonder what he is thinking now, if he's thinking. I wonder how he is, and where he has been. What stories would he tell us, if he were to tell? I have loved a mysterious and complex man, and been privileged to share 42 (+5) years of his life. That, in itself, is a gift to be cherished. On Wednesday, our 43rd anniversary, I will celebrate all of that. Perhaps Jim will too...somewhere, out there. Karen