Today was incredible! It started with a great group of folk coming together with me to fellowship, to reflect, and to recharge before returning to their caregiving responsibilities. We shared, we sang, we met in small groups. We found our own spaces to reflect among the many acres of a Maryland campground right off the busy Washington beltway. Who knew there could be such solitude and peace in such a congested area of the world? When the mini-retreat ended I was totally fulfilled! All of our sharing and our time of fellowship and prayer before departing totally energized me. I waved as the participants drove away, ready to spend the rest of the day and night in nature and in my beautiful sanctuary I’ve named JOY!
But out of nowhere today suddenly turned into the worst of days – because Tim isn’t here with me. It struck me almost right away as the group departed that today was Sunday. Sunday was OUR DAY… Tim and I were either watching football all day after church or packing up to come home from our beloved camping trips. But today I wasn’t packing. I’ll be here until tomorrow because it’s a holiday and that’s a great thing! BUT I’m now alone in a beautiful campground surrounded by families and friends fellowshipping together. They’re laughing and playing games, riding bikes and tailgating while watching their favorite teams on their outdoor tv on their RV. All the things Tim and I did together. I’m happy for all of them, thrilled actually… and I hope that they have many more years together of love, laughter and being together before they experience the pain I’ve felt over these past two years, including today.
Since Tim’s death Sundays have always been my worst day of the week. I don’t think I’ve ever talked or written about that fact until now. To help with my sadness I walked 6 miles today around this really awesome campground, experiencing trails and benches and water I’d not seen on previous visits here. As the sun began to set, I headed back to JOY for dinner, along the way smelling all the great food that families were cooking and sharing together. Cooking on the grill and our outdoor kitchen in our RV named Memory Maker was Tim’s favorite camping activity. Tears ran down my cheeks as I prepared and ate my salad (and no I still don’t cook).
I didn’t see this sadness coming and certainly hadn’t planned for it. A friend visited me yesterday at the campground but if I had been thinking I would have suggested they come today instead so I wouldn’t be alone. It’s amazing how emotions can go from one extreme to another in the space of a few hours, but I’ve come to realize that it’s more than ok to cry and that it’s ok to have afternoons like this.
So as this day winds down, I’m still grateful that even though I was sad for parts of today, that it was a day filled with such beauty. I’m grateful that this weekend has been amazing for me, with new friends and new discoveries that allows me to continue to grow into the person I’m still becoming without Tim. I’ll go to bed tonight proud of everything I accomplished this weekend and I’ll wake up tomorrow happy that it’s Monday!