We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Scary bears and dancing mommies...

Thanks for your comments. I'm sitting on my couch, laptop in my lap. The "guys" are asleep for the night. And for the first time since moving in - the evening is for me and my computer! Hee Hee. I am such a night owl and going to bed early (even if it was due to exhaustion) has been killing me. Our TV is not hooked up, other than to watch DVD's, and I didn't have Internet. In desperation, one night, I actually read a book (imagine that!) but got so into it that I couldn't put it down until 4 a.m. Another night I turned the computer on and found a couple of TV shows that had been previously downloaded and watched those. It's terrible. I like to be entertained. I would never have survived life in the 1800's.

So I've been storing up things to tell you all...

We have had some gorgeous spring days, but they seem to always fall when John is working. He will look out the windows longingly. And on his days off it will rain and snow. So Monday dawned bright and beautiful and my adventurous husband still had spring fever. So we grabbed Loretta and Reni and headed for the hills - literally. We found a perfect spot to park and started walking on a road that was closed to vehicles. Nice and easy walking. Ethan ran around to keep warm (because his mother forgot to pack him a jacket). I gave him my jacket, but he didn't like it. He much preferred running between John (who was out in front, setting a brisk pace) and the rest of us (who were feeling a little less-than-brisk). We eventually came to the most picturesque spot. The road turned into a bridge that crossed a flowing river that began several hundred yards up at a waterfall. Breathtaking. Reni, Loretta and I rested our tired feet, while John and Ethan scampered down the bank into the dry part of the river bed to get to the waterfall. We started getting a little nervous about John and Ethan being alone that far away from us because we had heard that the grizzly bears had been waking up recently. So we climbed down the bank to follow them. By the time that we made it halfway to the waterfall, John and Ethan met us coming back. They hadn't been able to make it all the way there before the river made that way impassable. John still really wanted to get there, so he decided to go back to the bridge, cross it, and go into the trees on the river bank to get to the waterfall. We were happily sunning ourselves on the flat rocks in the river bed, so John took off and we watched for him to appear in an opening in the trees. And that is when Loretta looked up to see a gigantic bear about 100 yards past the bridge. (We were about 200 yards away from the bridge - so the bear was approx. 300 yards away from us, on the other side of the river - the side that John was now on.) And then the bear got into the river and crossed to our side. By then we were hollering and making all kinds of noise to get John's attention. John popped out of the tree line, on the other side of the river from us. The river was so loud that Loretta and John had to yell to hear each other. John was trying to see the bear, but couldn't from his vantage point. Reni and I were trying to calm Ethan down. He was crying hysterically and saying "I don't want to die!!" Poor little guy. Reni thought of saying Ellie's favorite verse, so I quoted "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind." Reni and I felt much better, but Ethan was not convinced. Meanwhile John and Loretta continued to shout to each other. By then the bear was lumbering into the trees. John dashed back into the trees on his side of the river, to head back to the bridge, while we started walking towards the bridge. It was the most awful feeling to be in that riverbed because the only way out was towards the bear. I had been gathering some beautiful pieces of driftwood, and I decided to keep them. I figured I could always drop them if we actually had to face the bear, but I knew that I'd kick myself if we made it out alive and I had left them in the riverbed. So I carried the sticks in one hand and held Ethan's hand as we walked towards the bridge. Some people say that making noise is good so that you don't surprise the bear, so Loretta and Reni started yelling at the top of their lungs. Ethan was still crying and I was trying to reason with him while we walked. Then I heard this voice reverberate off the the rocks. "ARE YOU OK?" It was John, but it sure didn't sound like him. He and La had been yelling earlier to hear each other over the roar of the river, but this voice was like nothing I'd ever heard from him before. It was so loud that it echoed all around us. When he heard that we were o.k., and just making noise, the booming voice said "Do NOT yell like that unless you NEED me!!!!" He later said that he'd been about to come crashing through the trees and into the river because he thought we were being attacked. So we continued on towards the bridge. John must have sprinted because he was out of the woods, across the bridge, and into the river bed before we even got the bridge. All the way back to the car, we dragged sticks in the road, whistled, sang and talked loudly. That bear was somewhere between the river and the road that we were walking on. I'm sure that even without all of our noise, the bear would have known we were there just by the sound of Ethan's voice. All the way to the car, Ethan's little voice could be heard saying "What would the bear do? Would he scratch us with his claws? I didn't want Daddy to die. I didn't want that bear to get me. How would the bear get us? What would he do? I was so afraid that Daddy would die. Was it a grizzly bear or a black bear? Is Daddy stronger than the bear?" And on and on he went. John is just sorely disappointed that he didn't get to see the bear. The rest of us would gladly have relinquished our front row seat!

We have been loving our house, but the other day it officially became home. I am a very reserved person by nature - too much so to do any kind of dancing in public (shudder), but I have always danced with my children. Ethan was watching a movie one morning, and when it ended I scooped him up and began dancing to the music. The kids have always loved it when I would spin as fast as I could - the faster the better. They would squeal with delight as the blood rushed into their faces. I looked down at Ethan's little happy face, and was transported to a night not too long (weeks maybe?) before Ellie died. It was the last time that I ever danced with Ellie. We were playing the Israel K. version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and so I picked Ellie up and she faced me, with her legs around my waist. I supported her back with my arms and we danced around the room. I will never forget the look on her face as we twirled around the room. When the song said "...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world..." Ellie threw both arms into the air with her smiling face lifted towards Heaven. She was glowing with a look of absolute rapture on her face. I looked down, and the little face that was tilted up in my arms was no longer Ellie, but Ethan. His joyful, contented face spoke volumes, and what it said was "all is right with the world. We are dancing. We are home."

8 Comments:

At 4:11 AM, Blogger tricia said...

I so miss you and your updates. You know its ben perfect ride around at night to Park Avenue weather here.
I know it wasn't meant to be funny, but I laughed out loud when I read the part where John heard you screaming and thought you were being attacked by a bear...I guess my mind saw it as it would be portrayed in a movie.
Love ya!

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I continue to look at your site daily to see if you have posted and I amazed at how you share your thoughts and life. I love to see life through youe eyes, it is very refreshing and real. Dance on and continue to see the beauty of life in all you do and experience. That is God's Amazing Grace at work.
Mema T in SC

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Tricia: I actually laughed on the spot when John yelled. It was soooo funny. His voice came charging out of the underbrush and I knew the rest of him was soon to follow. It totally cracked me up! I've missed you too.

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

If you had written that it was the voice of God audibly calling out to you - I wouldn't have been totally surprised! Adventures with bears, driftwood finds, late night computer time and DANCING - you have the liveliest life.

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger pk said...

Girl !!!!! Amen is about all I can think or say at this time !!! Amen again. hugs, pk

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger pk said...

More Amen's . more hugs, pk

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger Mrs said...

The closest I've ever come to a bear was seeing the scat. Still, it sounds like such a beautiful day!

 
At 7:31 PM, Anonymous pauleen said...

Wow - what a great story - my boys will love this one! There will be a day that Ethan will love to think that he came that close to a bear and his daddy was so brave!

I love reading your writings.

 

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