My Husband turned 69 on 7/11/14. It was a big deal to him and he had been feeling very overwhelmed, overworked, disappointed and discouraged leading up to his birthday. He got 2 birthday cards, one from my Mother and one from the Honda dealership where we bought our car. He felt disappointed, he said he thought 69 was a big deal.
Don recently lost his brother to lung cancer and he took the loss very hard. My sisters husband also lost his battle with lung cancer last month so that has consumed a lot of my attention and energy. Don has been grieving and I have been so busy helping my sister with her grief and getting her through the foreclosure on her house that I have not been able to be there for him as fully as I have in the past. He has had way too much on his plate between running his business, working on the house he has been building for us since 2012 (which we are currently living in while working on), building the barn with lumber he milled from our land and all the other pressing things that were pushing him closer and closer to the edge. He also takes care of me because of my disabilities relating to my illness, sometimes I need a lot of care other times I am much more independent. It's all a lot for one man to handle. So he snapped. Badly.
I didn't understand what was happening to him, to us, and I didn't know how to help him other than to pray for him. I felt like I was drowning and I definitely couldn't breathe through all this grief, his, mine, my sisters....all of it was pressing down on us.
On his birthday I told him I wanted to go kayaking with him and to see if we could put aside our hurts and wounds long enough to celebrate his life. So we did and the photos I took reveled something mystical and magical. They appear to show Don on a journey into darkness then light and his reemergence on the other side.
Don passage into his 69th year took him on a voyage that carried him over some very rough seas. But the winds seem to have calmed and he has once again raised his sails. Even more importantly he has reached out to family members and asked for help on some of the projects that are overwhelming him so badly.
So here is the photo essay of Don's journey through the mystical passage from dark to light on his birthday. I was not aware when taking the photos the story that was being unveiled, and that makes it even more special I think.
A beautiful arched passageway made of stone appeared in a canal that branched off the river. It was heavily veiled by low hanging branches and arching trees and had a very secretive feel to it.
Don paddled over to it while I hung back taking photos. Can you see it in the photo above?
It felt like we were about to enter a fairytale
Don ventured into the passageway alone and I watched him from a distance as he entered
Halfway through the passage his form began to blend with the dark shadows created by the arched stone tunnel. He is disappearing, half in the light and half in the dark.
Then I hung back again as he moved towards the other end of the tunnel.
I watched him paddle into the light.
In this photo his form has become just a tiny speck
as he disappears into the light at the end of the tunnel
From the camera's view he is gone from sight, consumed by the light.
But from his view he is reemerging from the dark tunnel into the lush green paradise of an endless summer day
Don emerging from the dark tunnel to the bright light on the other side
In this photo you can just barely see him. He has completed his passage through the tunnel and is basking in the sunlight on the other side.
Below are a few more photos I took of the magical passage