|Camp Near Alpine, WY|
I never shared my Summer Solstice photos with anyone. As most of you know, I love the full moon. And I love both the summer and winter solstices. Something about that moment of time standing still - and trying to hold it.
The evening of the Solstice started out beautifully. I spent the evening with friends - eating, drinking, playing corn hole, and I took the photos above - well the obvious moon shots. We even had strawberries in our wine to celebrate the strawberry moon.
When I left, about 9:30 pm, and headed home from the Pocohontas Rd area, toward my home in Haines, I could see blue flashing lights. I thought a traffic stop. That evening, since it was a Monday, both kids (18 and 17) were with their dad.
When I got to my house, Sami's jeep was in the driveway. I came in the house. She had stopped to get a sweatshirt and asked if I knew anything about the accident. I said no, and then she told me it was right out of Haines and the highway was closed. One mile from town. I asked where her brother was. He was safe at the ranch. Thank God. My heart was in my chest. I was so happy my kids were safe and I said a prayer of thanks. Yet, I knew this accident would be ugly, and most likely would have people we knew. Haines is small.
I found out a neighbor friend and her daughter were in the accident. Both are alive, Thanks Be to God, and they both got out of their hospitals last week. Both suffered serious injuries. And there was a fatality. I am so thankful for both of them. The mother, also commutes to La Grande for work. One day, we drove together, and we shared our stories of love and loss and how lucky we both are right now, having great men in our lives, and being on top of our worlds with our jobs, and where we live and well, just everything.
Life stood still. I have been in 'deep thought' wondering about 'what is next' and how life changes so fast.
Which brings me to the photos of the tents. See the far one, closest to the creek? In that tent, on the night of June 24 I shared with Phil that I found a lump in my left breast. He was the first person I told. It was huge. I found it 10 days earlier. Life has stood still since then, for me, as well. I was worried, and not worried. I found one four years ago that turned out to be a cyst. It was quite small. It was removed and benign. This one? I was hoping I didn't waste my second chance at life.
Luckily, this story also ends well. Yesterday I was able to see 'my lump' through a mammogram and a sonogram. And I had a post imaging consultation as well, all within 2 hours, up in Walla Walla, Washington. Had I stayed in La Grande these tests would have spread out over the course of another month or so. The result? It turns out my lump is a 2cm x 4cm cyst. And, full of liquid. To be drained. Cause? Hormones. The gift of going through the change toward Menopause. Damn those hormones.
I hated telling Phil about it. Because he worried. His mind went to all sorts of dark places, which mine had done as well. He lost sleep. He fretted. He wanted to be with me when I went to get my tests. He is a caretaker and I not used to having someone do that for me. I told my kids. They only knew for two days, but still, they worried. I hated seeing the worry in their eyes. I know what went through my mind when my dad was sick. All those scary thoughts. I hate having people worry about the unknown. I appreciate that they prayed for me and thought the best, but gosh darn it, I wish they did not have to carry the burden of 'will it be serious'.
Now, I feel I have been given another 'chance' at this thing called life. I was lucky. And, I wonder. Will I make an effort to live differently? There are so many changes on the horizon with my kids going off to college and starting their independent lives. It depresses me and overwhelms me. I think about my future as well. I have not truly lived alone, on my own, for well over 22 years.
So. I think over the next year I will be thinking about what to do, where to go, and what to be.
Thanks for listening.