Monday, July 19, 2010

My summer vacation

My family is rooted in tradition and our summer vacation is no different.
For fifteen years we have traveled up north for a week of summer fun at a lake side cabin with my brother and his family. For thirteen of those years we went to the same Northern Minnesota lodge, enjoying seven glorious days of fishing, lounging on the beach and starlit campfires.

After Michael went to heaven in 2005 our summer vacation was definitely altered. Even though we continued to go to our same vacation spot, we all felt his absence. The black tire tube used for floating in the water or just sitting on the beach hasn’t been used since. Afternoon campfires even if it was sunny and ninety degrees out, don’t happen any more. No one hears “are you done yet” as Michael waited in the bedroom closet for the girls to change clothes or “why do I have to go to bed earlier than the girls” when his bedtime was before theirs. Those are simply our memories now and a few of the many stories we tell year after year.

The kids were quite the foursome. It was Michael and the girls, one of them his sister, the other two his cousins. Some of their favorites were watching Price is Right in the morning, hanging out all afternoon on the beach, and playing arcade games in the lodge, just to name a few. It was obvious that Michael thought he was the king of summer vacation and the girls were his servants, and in more ways than one, he was.

Two years ago we decided it was time for a change. Much of our life without Michael had to change in order for us to move forward, summer vacation included. We found a new vacation spot for us and all of our memories with Michael. Now, we still pack fishing poles, lawn chairs and enough food to feed a small army, but we also pack a picture of Michael that is placed lovingly in the cabin kitchen where he can still reside as king of our hearts.

Summer vacation 2010 has just come to an end and more great summer vacation memories were added to the collection. Thoughts of beautiful butterflies, walleye fishing, sitting on the beach with my peeps and singing around the camp fire keeps me going this cloudy Monday afternoon.

The importance of and value in relationships is without a doubt, displayed during this week of summer vacation. Somewhere I read that change challenges us to new depths of faith, hope and love. I have experienced those new depths in monumental ways in my journey with Michael but in many other ways too. For example, making the decision to change our vacation spot of thirteen years didn't come easy, but through a loving and respectful relationship with my brother and his family, we were able to remain faithful and hopeful while making the change. Of course some things are not the same but new and wonderful changes have occurred.

In life, even on vacation, we are all challenged in some way to
Be the Change.

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