Monday, October 31, 2016

Backwoods Tricksters and Bittersweet Goodbyes

I am not going to lie, getting myself to write this entry has been a battle. I’ve been putting it off, waiting for the inspiration to strike, but it wouldn’t. I have had people asking, my dad complaining, and my own guilt pushing me to write, but still I couldn’t. Finally, as I sit here, in a hospice center, dreading the next few weeks I found it.

Let me start with some quotes for you to think about while I recap the last 3 weeks.

Every day I've got to be thankful that I am alive, and you never know - the cliche is, I guess, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, so you'd better be at peace with whatever you got going at the moment.

-Joseph Gordon-Levitt

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

Our first group I want to talk about was our Cincinnati boys. They made sure we were entertained all week. From the green hair, to sparkly spiders, and the giant panties, they ALWAYS had something up their sleeve. Whether they were playing pranks on each other, or us, you knew they were always up to trouble.

They brought enough stuff for an army, but boy did they know what to bring. They surprised us with a lego cabin, which you can now find proudly displayed in the lodge. It has everything, even a fisherman and a moose!

My favorite thing they packed though was their vanilla rum. My gosh, if you haven’t tired it, please do. It will change your life.

Of course we had another birthday, so naturally I had to break out the birthday crown!

Next, we had our crazy group. Man these guys could party, but they had the fishing skills to back it up. They sure kept me busy.

The trip started off with my dad forgetting his gas can (it was quite funny). Then my new friend Jake was nice enough to take me fishing. I caught a 25 inch walleye in 70ft of water. It was a very cool experience, well that was until we got caught in the rain. That wasn’t so fun.

It was another good week filled with great fishing, and I learned a very very valuable lesson. Don’t drink too much. IT IS NO FUN.

Finally, we had our first bear hunters. By Sunday we had a bear down! It was a beautiful bear. Congratulations Jeff!

Along with the bear, there were some really nice fish caught by a first timer, and undercover fish master.

I would also like to thank the guys who brought me candy this season. For real you are the best. It helped me get through my time there. If dad wouldn’t kill me I would totally give you a discount!

Now, I would like to explain my rambling earlier. Have you ever had this overwhelming feeling you needed to be somewhere? Well, I did. I wanted to be home. I had to be home. I fought like hell to come home. I didn’t know why I just knew I had to be there. I’m not going to lie, I threw more than one fit to get me there. Well it worked. At the end of that 3rd week, I said an emotional goodbye, left the camp, and headed home for the last time this season. Three short days later I went and had dinner with my grandparents. The next day my grandfather was admitted to the hospital for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. A few incredibly emotional days later, I’m sitting in hospice watching him sleep, wondering if it might be the last time. No one said that buying the camp would easy, or that it wouldn’t completely change our lives, but I can not explain how many times our family has been tested this year. In the blink of an eye, your world could change, and your dad could be stuck in Canada. My grandfather has been such a supporter of this blog. He would read it religiously. Sunday he decided he had lived a full life, and is not receiving treatment. He is truly an amazing person. I think about him and about Wine Lake, and I really do think I am so incredibly lucky to have so many things in my life that make saying goodbye hard. I knew I needed to be home. Always listen to that feeling.
This blog was written 09/12/16
My grandfather passed away early morning 09/16/16 just 10 days after being diagnosed.
I return to this after a period of grieving, look back and think those quotes couldn't be more fitting. The world can change in an instant it always does. And I am beyond lucky because I have an infinite amount of things in my life that make goodbye hard. The camp, my family, and everyone I have let into my life have been very special to me. My grandfather loved me, I have no doubt. I spent most of everyday sitting in hospice with him. I had gone home to get some sleep, and his final hours, disoriented and tired, he kept asking when I would be home. By the time I made it back he had fallen asleep for the last time. He had a full night's sleep before taking his final breaths around 7am the next morning. I only wish I were able to finish this blog in time for him to read it. I still wait for him to post something for me on facebook, or like one of my pictures. Cherish what you have while you still have it, and thank God for the beauty he brings to your life no matter the form.

I would like to dedicate this to my Grandfather. Thank you for sharing God's grace with the world, and blessing the lives of so many.

In Memory of Charles C. Morrow
Your wings were ready, but my heart was not.
Goodbye and I love you.