I really didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to curl up in bed with my new weighted blanket, turn on the fairy lights in my bedroom and just sleep. However, we had already made plans. We were going to overnight camp at our new leanto that my husband had painstakingly built this summer.
What’s a leanto you ask?
It’s a three sided structure that you sleep in. We happen to have one of these in the Adirondacks. The plan was to do our first winter camp with the kids this year. Then we were going to reward them with a trip to a hotel for being good sports. When we made the plans we didn’t know about what was happening with me and frankly now that we did know I just wasn’t in the mood. It’s a lot of work to get all the gear together, set up, clean up, and wash it all when you get home. I suggested my husband go without me and I could just use my alone time to get into a better head space. Nope he said, you are coming with us. So away we went.
We didn’t expect it to be so unseasonably warm, still chilly but nothing compared to what it can sometime be like up there at this time of year. We decided to tell the kids what was happening so that they didn’t overhear us talking and get worried, this way we could control the narrative. I snuggled them up in our sleeping bags and had the conversation. We were very positive and upbeat about the whole thing and the kids responded accordingly. Laurel asked if I died if she could get a rabbit and Andrew said he would like a Mac book.
I think part of what was happening is that having a mom who is a grief counselor means you by default hear a lot about death, so I think my dark, sometimes inappropriate humor has been passed along to them.
That night they both snuggled in a little tighter than normal.
The next day we hiked Camels Hump mountain in Vermont. The last time we hiked this mountain was 14 years ago, pre children. We did however have our dog Gypsy with us. She was like my first child and she lived to be 14 years old. It seemed like it was finally time to let her ashes go and this was the perfect place. I know there are many lessons to learn on this journey and one of them is that I need to stop putting things off, like letting Gypsy go. So up the mountain we went determined to reach the top because I wanted her to have the best view possible. When we reached the top I knew immediately we had made the right decision to bring her here. I imagine heaven to look a bit like the top of a mountain in winter, maybe just a bit warmer!
I needed to climb this mountain this week, I needed to be reminded that I can do hard things. Hard things like tell me kids that I have a brain tumor. Hard things like sleeping outside in the winter. Hard things like climbing a mountain when you would rather be snuggled up in a blanket by the fire. Life is not supposed to be easy, there was never a guarantee of that.