Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring time

    The first day of spring always makes me smile. As I stepped out of the truck today I noticed the buds on the cherry tree. Soon it will explode with pink flowers. As the days get longer and warmer I feel rejuvenated. Humming birds have already begun to chase each other around our neighborhood  The deer are everywhere, most with one or two new born fawns in tow. The Canadian geese are paired up around the banks of the lake. In no time at all the goslings will hatch and join their parents on the water. Spring is a time of rebirth yet for me it has a deeper meaning. I survived through another cold wet winter. This is my eighth since this journey began. Somehow I always knew it would be this way but I am always surprised by how long it has been. Spring is also a strange time in western Washington. It is a time of unpredictable weather. The first year in our home it snowed 3 inches the second week of April and again in May. It was gone by noon when the mercury rose to 60 degrees. Mostly it rains in the spring. Sometimes it rains for weeks at a time. One year we had a sunny weekend so I mowed the lawn. It was over a foot tall before I could mow it again. In the morning I head to work donning a sweatshirt and jacket. I return home in a tee-shirt. Occasionally however the sun does come out. When it does it is easy to see why some call this place God's country. The blue of the sky is an amazing contrast to the green that surrounds and envelopes you. Everywhere you look there is wildlife. Fish jump in the lakes and streams while beaver and otter frolic or set about their tasks. On one particular day as Mandy and I were fishing the banks of the South Toutle River, a deer crossed the river just a few feet away, a beaver swam up the river past us and then stood on an outcropping of rock and began to bathe himself, and a great blue Heron landed and began to fish. This all took place inside of 15 minutes. The rivers are running high right now. The ground is saturated and our yard is more like a marsh than anything else. Mud slides are happening everywhere. This year we have had 4 inches of rain in March which is twice the normal rainfall for this time of year. It is years like this when I am glad we don't live on or below a hillside. My heart goes out to the people of Oso Washington where half the population of that small town was buried in a horrific mud slide. The morning news quoted an official who stated that some of the residents my never be found and will most likely remain buried beneath the mud and debris. Such a sad thing for the love ones of the lost. Life is so short. It can end in the blink of an eye and a flash of terror. The world is a violent ever changing place. 
   I consider myself to be lucky. Yes, cancer may one day take my life but at least I had a warning. I was given the opportunity to live like tomorrow may never come. I was able to mend relationships and right wrongs. I was allowed the time to show my friends and family how much they mean to me. I was afforded the luxury of laying the foundation of a life without me for Mandy. I am blessed. One day cancer might win but at least I was able to take it a full 15 rounds. Who knows, when the fight is over it could perhaps end in a draw. I will be a better man for having fought the battle having lived to the fullest each day I was given. I pray for the people of Oso and the families who have lost loved ones without every being able to say goodbye. It is the same for the people who have lost love ones on flight 370.
   I hope as disasters unfold and hearts are torn apart that we who observe take lesson from the tradgedy. Let those you love know each day how much you care. You may never have the time to say goodbye. Todd