In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heaven on Earth

Each day of my stay in Couer d’ Alene, felt like a gift that I had long awaited for. It is hard for me to put into words just how incredible it felt to have this time with my children and granddaughter in such a beautiful place. In many ways it felt like heaven on earth…in many ways it looked much like it could be heaven on earth, which made it all that more sweeter.

To behold such beauty... experience it with daughters that are women you call friends...

...took my breath away...

If you know at least some of my story…where I have come from to get here, then you can appreciate how big this was for me…and how I cannot take these moments for granted, not even for one moment. One of the good things that came out of living through tough times and experiencing deep pain in my life, is that it taught me to really appreciate any good that comes into my life…that when something is good and beautiful, to embrace it…and to never ever take it for granted. It's taught me to be thankful for the abundance that today has brought and for the lessons that the past taught me so that I could experience joy in the here and now. I have worked and fought hard to get here and it feels good to share it with you.

Because my children and grandchildren live so far away, these moments that I get with them, mean the world to me. To have this rare time with them without all the distractions and demands of my regular life was a precious gift to me. I soaked in their presence…their smiles, their voices, their laughter and their faces.

So let me finish telling you about my trip that came and went in a blink of an eye…

Every day was filled up with things like laughter, dancing, goofing around, playing games and watching the sun set each night but each day was also filled up with things like hiking…

…and camping, canoeing, swimming and cliff jumping into the ice cold water… As much as I wanted to jump, I couldn't’t because of my injuries. So I cheered everyone on from the canoe!

In a blink of an eye it was time to say good-bye to my son at the airport. I wanted to hang on to him and not let him go. As he walked away from me, he turned around and my daughter got this picture of him. It’s this image of him that I have burned in my memory. I miss him with all of my heart.

We had 3 days wonderful days of “girl time” before we left to come home. It’s like I closed my eyes for one second and when I opened them, it was time to say good-bye to my daughter, her boyfriend and their dog Ida. I wanted to hang on to her and not let go. I miss her with all of my heart.

Driving away is hard…usually it’s one of them flying away from me. I was thankful that my eldest daughter and granddaughter were still with me and that I had one more week with them. I would hang onto every second I had left with them like it was precious gold.

I don’t do well with good-byes. I hung on to each of their last hugs and last “I love you mom’s” like it’s the air I breathe. I etched their smiles into my memory. I touched their faces and memorized the wonderfulness of them. I had to let go once again…it hurt like hell but I did it…and I did it without smoking!

I had the time of my life with these three…I love you guys to the moon and back. XXXOOO

PS I don't think we got my son to pose with "the look" even once...poor guy stuck in the middle of us silly girls! My granddaughter sure had fun taking the pictures though!

While I was away this past month Pseudonymous High School Teacher came up with this grand idea of Travel Tip Thursday. For other travel related posts check her out! She has the most amazing pictures of her life Hawaii.

And she suggested I link this post so I'm giving it a shot. My fingers and toes are crossed that this actually works!


Jan said...

Oh, Lori - what lovely pictures! Your visit with your children make me very anxious for Thanksgiving when my grown children will be here for a week, and for when my stepdaughter brings our very first grandchild for a visit in October.

You're right; we should never, ever, EVER take what we have for granted.

Brittany said...

I looooooveeeee all the pictures :) Makes me smile, and wish I could have been there with you! One day we'll be able to get together and all take funny crazy pictures! I cant wait! I love you mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bina said...

What an absolutely beautiful post. I'm so happy for you that you got to visit with your children like that. And those pictures? WOW! There are two that are just stunning! (Both over-looking the water I think).

I know how hard it is to let them go again. I experience that everytime my boys come to visit, and then leave again. It's so very hard, and so heart breaking.

And that last pic? I LOVE it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope it isn't a million days before you can all gather together again. These photos are amazing and a testiment to what love you all have for each other. I am glad you had a safe trip and that everyone had such a good time!

bernthis said...

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as I prepare to leave after close to a month to return to a place that has nothing for me to return to.

I love NYC with all my heart and my family and friends surround me here and I'm so so sad to leave.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Your photos are stunning. I want to go there someday. How did you folks pick this destination?

This post is perfect to link with the Travel Linky thing on my blog if you feel like sharing it...

Busy Bee Suz said...

I have the biggest smile on my face reading your past few posts. I LOVE all the silly and beautiful pictures you shared. You have such a wonderful family and this just shows how much you all love each other.

Bogey said...

I can only imagine the perpetual grin you have on your face with the never ending supply of memories. A lot of people could learn a very valuable lesson from you you in regards to not taking "Family time" for granted. When children grow up and move into their own lives, too much of what you described becomes nothing more than distant memories. The special bond you created thru all of your early hardships will remain with you and your children forever. The fact that you were able to also share this with your grand-daughter, only adds to the blessing. Thanks for sharing more of your special trip.

shaunna said...

what an evocative piece... brings so to mind the people i love whom i miss... as well as the photos bringing to mind the land i loved and push down memory of from the pacific northwest

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