Saturday, October 22, 2011

A week after Julie's Memorial.

A week ago today was my sister, Julie's memorial service. I am in Alaska and could not get away while the service was in Alaska.

I was drained all week. I made it through, but man was I tired. I had friends who wanted to go hang out Friday but I was just too tired. I am so very lazy, I can't believe it.

I have two more weeks of tons of work to do and if things settle down, I will be able to take a day off - I hope. I do feel it would be helpful to take a few days to grieve.

I am tired this AM but it sure is nice to be able to lay here and watch the mountain and the rain coming down. I have to get to school and do a lot of work this weekend though. I probably won't get a hike in today.

Two more weeks of pushing through should bet me caught up and kids settled down. (I do have one child where that may not be the case though. One case looks like a long term kid, 2 to 3 years to get reasonable behavior. My old kids, kids I have had 2 or 3 years are doing well which is so very helpful. That allows me more time on my new group and two of them are time consuming.

Then I get called over to another school to help out and anyway, I am stretched. Time is sure flying by though. Two more very tough weeks and then it should slow down a bit - I hope.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Post Memorial Drain

My sister's memorial was Saturday and I am in Alaska working. I hiked and was ready to move on. But then I woke up this morning and it felt like someone had beaten me up over the weekend. I just had a kind of a drained feeling. I made it through the day but was basically on auto pilot. I am now thinking, the emotions of my sisters death and aftermath got to me worse than I thought it would. I have so many people saying, sorry, etc, so it is not just a matter of moving on either.

It would be great if I could take some time off to deal with the grief which I think is nagging at me. Unfortunately, I cannot get away from work for at least two or three weeks, if I am lucky enough to grab a few days then.

The weather is not helping either. We have clouds down to the ground and rain, lots of rain. The rain is getting kind of old.

The snow level is dropping, I can see the level drop on the mountains outside my window. I am looking forward to snow. I am hoping we can get a lot of it.

I just need to get this super busy week done ASAP! Monday is done!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Photos from Juneau, AK

I took these last weekend while hiking. It is definitely fall.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rest Well, Julie McLaughlin, my sister, I Miss You!!

I HATE CANCER!!!! Rest Well, Julie McLaughlin, my sister, I Miss You!!!

That is the message I wrote in the snow on Mt Roberts in Juneau, AK today when her memorial was taking place in Puyallup, WA!

I was unable to attend the memorial service so I had to figure out a plan B. I spend my morning thinking of a perfect place to spend her memorial and I saw new snow. So, I was going to hike to snow at the top of Mt Roberts, There is a cross called Father Brown's cross. I made it to the cross and was able to spend some time in remembrance of my sister and those whom she loved so very much. I wrote my message and said goodbye.

It is funny how sadness and grief works. I would be walking and suddenly a memory or thought would pop into my head which would take me back to Julie and Bill's life and there would be tears. I was glad that it was raining. Many times, I had to wipe my eyes. The thought also came to me that if she was mad at me for not attending the memorial, I might get hit with lightning or eaten by a bear - neither happened, so I will take that to mean that she understands.

I want to say to Bill, Shannon and Scott that I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could have attended but I would have come back to a big mess. This was simply not the time for me to leave my students.

It is a rainy day today so not many people on the trails. I ran into two people near the top - that was all. I was so pleased to have the mountains to myself - mostly.

Thank You to Brianna and Ashley, my daughters for going to Julie's Memorial - it means a lot to me. Thank You to my niece Kim for reading something which I had written during the ceremony. I was quite surprised to find out that it was read during the service.

Love to all! I intentionally stayed away from people today, so I could quietly spend time in quiet thought for my sister and those with whom she loved.

People don't cry for the departed, they cry for themselves and the changes they must face. For me, it is kind of scary to see Julie die before 65, Marvin die before 65 and my father also died before 65. Being almost 62 - I guess I should consider what I would like to do the next 5 years.

No pictures were taken today. I was up in the clouds. It was either rain or snow and I did not even take a camera.

Goodbye Julie!!! You lived a wonderful life!!! You left a legacy for others to follow. You and mom showed others how to live but you also showed us how to die. Nobody is going to get off this earth alive afterall.

I love you, Sis. Thank You for spending your childhood helping to raise me..

Your snotty nosed little brother who loved to stomp right through the middle of the mud puddles when you were in charge of me. Giving me the exlax chocolate bar was not funny though - to me anyway. I can still hear you and Gene yelling at me to get out of the bathroom. I tied it up for a long time.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

More pictures - last weekend we had sun

I have not seen any bears in 3 weeks. The salmon are not running. I have seen more eagles. I saw 3 yesterday while hiking around the Glacier, which pleases me. There are still hundreds of Arctic Terns around but not the Thousands which we had a couple of weeks ago. The Terns are no longer spending much time at Mendenhall Glacier. They seem to stay in Gastineau Channel at night and fly out when it gets light.

You will notice the sun in these pictures. There are actually mountain goats in some of the pictures but they are so very small that you cannot see them. I saw the little white dots moving on the brown rocks, There were about 3 - 5 of them. I actually climbed to the elevation they were located but they on the mountain on the other side of the valley.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More photos

More Pictures that should have been up last week,

Pictures for Julie and Aunt Ada

I only saw Julie once a year, maybe twice at times, but she would check out my blog. I have not been blogging much recently because of the rain and not wanting to get my camera wet. I am on camera 3 or 4 in 3 years so I am trying not to ruin another one. Now I wish I had put up pictures last weekend of my hikes so Julie would have seen them when she was alive. I will put them up now, better late than never I guess. We are getting more snow on the mountains so I am watching and waiting for snow to come so I can use the new skis.

Goodbye, Julie - I miss you!

My sister Julie passed away this past week. She died in her sleep.

I have never had an easy time with death and dying. The first death was Kelly, a niece who died at 2. I remember praying when she was in the hospital that God would take me instead. I was about 8 or 9. I had a brother in law die when I was at the house and I felt bad because he left a daughter with no father. I had two daughters at the time and felt terrible because I would not want my children to grow up without a father. The hardest death for me was my father. He was an alcholic and a bad gambler. I appreciate that he told me at a young age to go to college and be a lawyer. I never felt like I really had a father and spent my life trying to be the father I never had. It was hard going to his funeral.

The best funeral and separation from this world was my mother, June (Brisco) Miller. I was fortunate enough to see her monthly the year she passed. It was sad but so very rewarding to see her at the end. The stories and memories will always be treasured during those times. The night of mom's passing will always be a pleasant memory. Many people surrounding her quietly and respectfully telling stories and shedding tears and watching her take her last breath. When she took that last breath, we had lightning and thunder which lit the room and the loud boom. It was so very fitting. Every person in that room had experienced the joy of knowing her.

Today, a person from that room is gone. Julie, my sister, has moved on. I sure hope she gets to see mom and so many others who made us the people we are today. Julie lived a great life and will be missed. It will be a big adjustment for Bill, her loving husband. They were a great combination as a couple and made a wonderful family.

Love you Julie, miss you! Don't let mom keep you up all night talking - she can when she gets on a roll. I am going for a hike in you and Aunt Ada's honor. Love You, Sis.