Saturday, October 20, 2012

One Year Later

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Jim's disappearance--hard to believe.  We are so thankful that he was found, but besides knowing now where he went, a few items he took with him that we had not figured out, and that he died, we don't know much more than we did the day we discovered him missing. We develop theories of what we believe may have happened or probably happened, but then are reminded that we really just don't know.  For those who haven't heard, the results of the autopsy were that time and cause of death is "Undetermined."  (Possible causes include his medical conditions and things resulting from being out in the elements, but there was not enough evidence to conclude one cause above the others.)

So, at this one year mark we can't help but remember all that took place and how our lives were forever changed.  We have also heard many of others' stories of hurt and pain and have learned that we are not alone.  We do know that Jim would want us to let go and move forward living life to the fullest, and that we honor him as we move in that direction.

Though our hearts are heavy as we pass through these rough spots of various anniversaries, we have also grown in faith, are learning to accept mystery as a part of life, have seen in a crystal clear way all that we loved about Jim, and rejoice in all he was to us. We have also received blessing upon blessing from people near and far, have been the recipients of so many prayers, have experienced some of that peace that passes understanding, accept faults as a part of life, are grasping in a new way the complexity of the human psyche, and have seen the hand of God at work in spectacular ways.

A great joy in our family's life was the beautiful wedding of Ali and Paul's last month in Oregon. Awesome family time on a beautiful day celebrating a beautiful love (pictures posted on FB pages). Some day within the next year we, as a family, will probably hike, again, into the area where Dad spent his last days (as we did on the day before his memorial celebration last May) and spend some time there.  Most of the time life is normal and busy, with little time for anything else, but I will be doing a day hike with anyone who wants to join me within the next couple of weeks to experience this amazing canyon at this time of year, and recover, if still around, any belongings not yet found.  I will retire from teaching elementary music in May, will remain in our home for the time being, and discover what adventures my next chapter will bring.

Thank you for your friendship and love,