A perk of attending a wedding in an old duty station was the opportunity to see dear military friends. We spent the rest of our weekend in the Pacific Northwest finding respite. Soon enough, hospitals and doctors will return, but for this little sliver of peace, we have been able to laugh, smile, love, hug, share and be with friends away from the cancer. Sure, we have talked about it, but it didn't rule the weekend. For the first time in the last five days, I didn't feel defined by my diagnosis.
We spent our day hiking in one of God's most precious creations: Mount Rainier. Both Treb and I have a special love for this mountain from out time spent at Fort Lewis. I climbed to Camp Muir when we lived here which was one of the most physically challenging feats I personally have accomplished in my life. I love that memory of climbing to Camp Muir. At 10,000+ feet in the air! your perception of everything changes.
So going to Rainier for me was very healing. Hiking to Panorama point showed me that my body was still strong. I could still do this. Each step affirmed me as a person. Each smell cleared my body--I felt as though I was breathing in the spirit of the world and the spirit of God. The sounds resonate with my heart. I smiled without feeling as though it was forced or as if I needed to show everyone that Iw as ok. I was ok.
I loved almost every moment of it, except the massive meltdown my little girl had half way up the trail. (Her scream was so piercing you could hear it at the end of the trail. One old gentleman walked back down the hill to give me chocolate she was screeching so loud). This moment reminded me that my sickness doesn't effect just me. It affects my babies. For that I am eternally regretfull. I would shield them from every moment of it if I could. Their world has been rocked as well.
But as we settled down and found our calm, both of us continued on to make it to our final destination at panorama point. The view was completely obscured by fog. We had made it, but couldn't see the view. Such are many things in life. You can learn a lot from a mountain.
But as we descended back, the clouds parted and there she was. If you've been to rainier, you know exactly what I am describing. If you have not, when the clouds part and Mount Rainier shows her magnificence, everything else seems smaller in comparison. I told Treb that he needs to start praying as hard for me to get well as he prayed to see his mountain this weekend! When Mount Rainier shows herself, you feel blessed.
And I've been blessed this weekend. From being a part of a beautiful wedding, the hospitality of great friends and a wonderful day hiking on Rainier, I found a sense of balance and peace I sorely needed. I'm sure it won't last, but it was a greater reminder that there can still be great days even in the midst of darkness.