Valley of the Shadow

I’m starving. As I type this, I’m eating a burger at the Sacramento airport where I board a flight leaving in 90 minutes. I contemplated eating at the fancier place – take myself on a date. But that seemed fiscally irresponsible. But my mind is swirling. I’ve got to get this out.

First off, getting here was dumb. Seattle airport is dumb. I nearly missed my connection flight due to a security issue that resulted in the tram not running. Dumb!

This morning I discover I had not packed a shirt. Lovely. Mom had an extra one that thankfully fit me. 

Mom made this skirt for me & I made her & my sister & myself matching headbands. 

My uncle passed away just two days before Christmas. They planned his memorial to take place in spring. And that day is today. It’s also my boys’ 5th birthday. Life is a dance of joy & grief, isn’t it?

I have been in Sacramento for less than 24 hours. And the range of emotion I’ve felt in that short of time has run the gambit. 

I’m exhausted. 

Today I heard some new stories and some I’d heard at least 50 times. I heard laughing. I saw tears. I saw grudges give way to grace. 

I was glad to see everyone. And missed those unable to attend. But none were missed more than Garry himself. We caught glimpses of him though in the stories of his son, and the laugh they share – it’s uncanny.

Psalm 23:4 says though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. (Some of us maybe cast bigger shadows than others. 😂) We were in that valley today. 

Not long ago, I woke up in the middle of the night. I keep one eye closed while turning the light on in the bathroom so that way I can find my way in the dark once the light is out. (This is why pirates wore eye patches, by the way.)

On my way back to bed, I realized that uncle Garry taught me that. I mean, of course he did – the man had a travel size bladder!  

But it struck me. I remembered the conversation. At the time, I thought it was hilarious. But now, I think it’s the perfect metaphor. 

The people we love help us find our way in the dark. Today, my family came together and we braved that shadow. 

I’m sitting here now thinking of these cousins. 

My crazy aunt Carole

I made her get on my back.

I’m thinking of all the loved ones I saw today & my eyes are swelling. 

I can’t wait to hold my big 5 year old boys tonight. I got them airport toys. Because mom never returns empty handed! 

Life. Joy & grief. It’s a tango. 


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