Sixteen years ago today my husband Art lost his family when a boulder hit the car they were driving in Glenwood Canyon. With compassion and guts he has worked through the grip that grief put hold on him. He has missed Kathy, Shea and Tanner so intensely that at times, when I held him amidst this pain, I wondered if any human could come out alive. In that missing and in the remembering of their time here on earth, he has honored them so beautifully. There has not been a day when I haven’t marveled at his strength and also his weakness to be willing to go anyplace emotionally in order to find joy in his life again. He has believed all along that they would want him to live on and live joyfully.
When I met Art Shea and Tanner’s art work was all over the walls in our home. When we had Rider and Burke, their art work began to take its place. In the last month I took all of Tanner and Shea’s art work I could find as well as some of my own boys and had them all specially framed. I brought it all home the other day for Art as a surprise and I watched a joy jump into his eyes. Pieces of Shea and Tanner are now preserved forever. We are taking all four boys’ art work and sprinkling them together around the house..
This is our life. We are separate and yet we share the same man, the same father, the same love. The separate part has been as important as the sprinkling together part. Yet, through all of it, we all know that Kathy and Shea and Tanner are right here watching over us, giving us blessings when they can.
Art’s in Denver today with Rider and Burke and two of their friends for hockey games. He couldn’t be happier. Before he left he said to me, ‘This is what I love to do…be with kids, take care of them.’ He does, and he is. When we talked this morning the first thing he said was, ‘Today is the anniversary. I miss you but I’m exactly where I want to be. With my boys at a hockey game.’
If you read this today, take one minute to imagine your life with those you love suddenly gone. Sit there for one minute and take it in. Then decide what you need to do today to love those people more fully. We never know what curves life will throw our way. Never. But what we can do is honor and love the ones we love today!
If you haven’t read our book, Out of the Canyon, please do