Monday, July 16, 2012

"Firsts" Continue to Make a Difference

There are certain activities that we all seem to look forward to, and I suppose its different for everyone. Some may look forward with great anticipation to a certain holiday, others to a family vacation, and yet someone else may be on pins and needles waiting for the upcoming college football season to begin. For us I suppose its a little bit of all those things, but one thing I don't think we anticipated when Madeline passed away would be what I call the "firsts". The "firsts" can be very difficult when its obvious someone is missing, whether its the first holiday, the first vacation, or especially the first birthday. We just returned home from another "first", it was our first family camping trip without Madeline. Like most of our previous 'firsts' there was some anxiety, some tenderness, and even some anger that she would not be with us, but we forged ahead.

Just a little excited about camping

After getting the tent trailer out of storage and making a few minor repairs we packed up and headed to St. Charles Canyon in Idaho. Its a family favorite from years past when children were smaller and watching squirrels and chipmunks can entertain for hours. I was amazed at how small rodents are still entertaining to grown up children and their mom. I was also amazed at the sweetness of past memories spent with our children in this beautiful alpine setting as well as the sandy shores of Bear Lake's north beach. It was a wonderful tribute to time spent together as a family as past memories continued to tug on our sentimental heartstrings and new memories blossomed with our ever changing family. I was also surprised to see that children, even those classified as grown up still argue and complain about minor inconveniences and differences of opinion as well as get super excited about campfires, marshmallow's and melting chocolate.

Our friend Chunky

We couldn't help but see and feel Madey's influence throughout our trip, whether it was the young moose we saw while driving through Logan Canyon which immediately reminded us of Madey's souvenir hat and t-shirt from our last family trip to Yellowstone that read "cool as moose". Or it may have been the hummingbird that dive bombed our camp on occasion, or the echoes of an unmistakable laugh that sounded off in our trailer during Hillary's demon barbie impression. Whatever it may have been Madey was with us in this "first" just like she has been in all the others.

Enjoying the beach

With a stack of "firsts" behind us, we now find ourselves looking at some "seconds" as well. This coming Thursday July 19th, will be Madeline's 17th birthday, our second celebrated without her. In the spirit of being a difference maker we invite everyone to look for an opportunity to try and make difference in someone else's life this Thursday in memory of Madeline. The best part is you get to decide what you will do to make a difference for someone else on that day, large or small everything we do makes a difference. If you feel like it we would love to have you post a comment on our blog and tell us a little about what you did or a memory you have of Madey making a difference for you.

Madey alwasy loved being in the trailer

As a family we continue to be blessed by the powerful example that so many of you are to us. We are also blessed by the influence that Madeline left in our home and the understanding that we will have her with us again someday. May the Lord continue to bless each of us in our efforts to make a difference for others.