Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mixed Emotions

We spent a fun filled week at Hume Lake this summer. Amy and Jeff, along with Kaitlyn, Kyle and Jack,shared the week with us.

Tony and I have spent at least one week each summer at Hume Lake for most of our 35 years of marriage. My family vacationed there in the 50's when I was a little girl, and I went to high school summer camp there in the 60's. Hume Lake is full of memories and brings many emotions to mind.

Amid all the fun of making new memories with my grandchildren, there are many linking objects - a normal part of one's grief journey. There are so many things and places that remind me of the 16 years we had with Scott. Tony went to Father-Son and Father-Daughter Retreats many times with the kids as they were growing up. Scott made the decision to make Christ the Lord of his life at Hume during one of those times with Tony. He made a commitment to be a tool for Christ his last summer at Hume.

We are grateful for friends who allow us to stay in their cabin each year. It too is filled with memories - as we summered and wintered there with family and friends. Tucking Kyle and Jack into bed upstairs one night, I told them, "You know, Uncle Scott slept right here in these beds when he was your age!" Their big eyes and wide grins were precious. How I wish Scott was here to meet his nephews and niece.

We took Kaitlyn, Kyle and Jack fishing one morning. Even the lake weed they reeled in linked me to Scott. He and his buddies were given "lake weed duty" by Dayn (camp dean and future youth pastor to Scott and Amy). Scott spent his free time one afternoon pulling lake weeds from the boat channel as a consequence for some of his ingenious pranks.

One morning we drove up to Buck Rock. We climbed the 172 wooden stairs that cling to that huge rock that stands at 8,500 feet. It was Kaitlyn and Kyle's first trip to the top to the fire lookout station. Scott's ashes went off the landing at Buck Rock.

The pile of rocks, placed there 13 years ago as an Ebenezer, are still there - a testament that we do not grieve alone. It was precious as Kaitlyn and Kyle helped me pick wild flowers to place on the pile of stones that are a memorial to Scott and represent the emotions of so many friends and family.

Kaitlyn's eyes filled with tears as she laid more flowers on the stones. She has such a tender heart. I remember when she was about five years old and we met with friends at this Ebenezer to begin the memorial bike ride. I was holding Kaitlyn's hand as we walked to this pile of stones to remember Scott before the ride. As the riders took off, Kaitlyn turned to me and said, "But where is he?" "Who?" I asked. She replied, "Uncle Scott - I thought he was going to be here today." That was the day she began to understand how we often groan in these earthly vessels to be reunited with our loved ones for all of eternity.

And quite honestly, groan is a good descriptor. I always enjoy my week at Hume, don't get me wrong. I love making new memories, and savor the old ones. But several times during our week at Hume, I found myself fighting back many emotions - sorrow in Scott's absence, thankfulness for the years we had him, and at times - protest, that Scott should be here to enjoy this with us, to be present with his niece and nephews, to ride the Buck Rock ride with Tony one.more.time.


Don B. said...

Thanks, Bonnie.

Openly sharing your heart enables us to at least partially understand some of your difficult journey and feel like we are, in a very small way, walking with you.

Kristine said...

WOW what precious memories you shared, thank you! for that. I remember some of those memories with you, who could forget the guys pulling lake weed, that made me smile. Hume is such an amazing place. What sweet grankids you have, Kaitlyn has such a precious heart she is an amazing little girl. Thanks again for sharing

Adam P. Penner said...

wonderful.. thanks for the reflections. We miss you guys!

Tamara B said...

well my dear, I'm at work and I'm not sure that my eyeballs needed a good rinse but they got it. So much so that I had to take my glasses off. Imagine me typing with totally blurry eyes - I so should have worn my contacts today!

Anyway, I loved reading this post. I love those trips down such a precious memory lane. As I started reading, I of course thought of the lake weed story and wondered if you would recall it. I can still remember the phone call that he made to my house that summer while at camp to tell me about his fun and resulting "service" during free time.

It's interesting to think about Hume. Of course I have lots of memories of that place as a camper. And God was definitely working in my life during those times. But the profound thoughts and memories are more closely tied to that precious and so meaningful pile of stones. That heart-wrenching and emotional bike ride and all the memories that go with that fill my heart with a mixture of joy and sadness.

Of course I understand that Tony would want one more ride with Scott. I am so thankful that I got to experience that ride with Tony and others - even if that included puking on the hill while the old man rode right by!

I love you guys!