The weather has been nice this summer – lots of sunny days to enjoy the fresh air, nature and fishing. I haven’t done any fishing yet, but I hope to get out there one of these days. Last summer we were visiting this island, and my husband went fishing for the last time. We celebrated his 58th birthday exactly one year ago today. I still find it unfathomable that it was the last fishing trip and last birthday of his life. It is yet difficult to grasp that he departed into the spirit world just 34 days later. He was burning bright one moment, and “poof” I found him suddenly extinguished the next, just like the flickering candles on his birthday cake. My father left to join him precisely one DAY later, and for the past year I have struggled to balance the act of living with the spontaneous grieving of these two influential men in my life. I have come long way in my journey since that weekend – both literally and figuratively.
Time has also distanced me from the tragedy of that weekend. Nearly a year has passed, and many things have changed around me. By living through these experiences, I have changed more than anything else. Although I still grieve in the deepest recesses of my heart, outwardly I say, “Let’s celebrate!”
Let’s celebrate the completion of the first leg of my journey and the beginning of the next! Let’s celebrate travels with Trixie and long picturesque trots along the coastline!
Let’s celebrate the big move from one climate extreme to the other! Let’s celebrate getting back on the ferry after my “big trip” and completing a successful voyage without injury!
Let’s celebrate homemade salmon chowder with fresh dill and kayaking with a friend! Let’s celebrate starfish rainbows in orange, purple, pink and even blue! Let’s celebrate attending Culture Camp and my first totem raising in Hyaburg!
Let’s celebrate roasting marshmallows in the rain and making s’mores! Let’s celebrate making memories with family and friends and the love of grandchildren! Let’s celebrate the end of My Alaskan Journey.
Alaska is no longer a destination, it is where I hang my hat. Alaska is Home, and Journey stops here. I know rainy days and Mondays will find me painfully sorting memories, but I also yearn to once again dig up my roots and explore My Heritage and the heyday of those Duquesne Croatians. It’s been too long since I felt like climbing the family tree. I will no doubt continue to render blanket service and think about my grandbabies, but I already have other grandchild-inspired projects dancing through my mind! I want to peek around the corner into the future and celebrate the endless possibilities! So, on this Happy Birthday anniversary, I say, “Let’s celebrate — Life!”
© 2015 to present Patricia J. Angus