surrounded by God given beauty and memories...
|John Wayne on the slide as a tiny kid... Fearless that one!|
My family has been going to Big Canoe (in north Georgia) since I can remember. There are so many memories in this place. See this right here?
John Wayne took me (ok, so it's not like he really had to twist my arm) traipsing straight through it one year when we decided to forge our own path down to the pools because mom told us she wasn't ready to take us yet. Rule breakers much?! The answer is undoubtedly yes! Babe and I have brought our niece and nephew here for the past few years. This year has been very surreal to say the least, but it has been somewhat healing. It was hard to imagine that John Wayne was supposed to meet us up here but it was nice to go through some of the memories about times I shared with him when we were growing up. It has been nice to have Kaley (his fiancee) here with us and for the two of us to get to talk and reminisce about John Wayne.
And these faces? These little people?
They are what pull me through. They are the reason I can keep a smile on my face and laugh when part of me just feels like curling up in bed and pulling the covers over my head. The "Aunt Mel's?!" and the "I want mints" and even the smacks between cousins sustain me. Especially when Makaylin comes out with an all too realistic rendition of her daddy and when being made to say sorry for hitting her cousin, pouts "I'm sorry" out the side of her mouth, all while smacking her again. I had to shut the door to keep her from seeing me laughing. Oh that child has so much of John Wayne in her.
gets me from one moment to the next. Why is she crying you may ask? Because I was trying to help her see something on the phone and she did not like that I was touching it. Word of warning... if you take something from the child you should beware of teeth or hands. She takes no prisoners. Being with these kiddos is the closest I come to feeling somewhat like myself (my preself). My friends help get me close, but with them there is less pretending I have to do. They stay by me, hold me up and let me be less like myself and sometimes that is just what I need. It's the people... the people, and the memories, and the promise of more, the promise of healing, the promise of one day at a time that continue to get me through.