Saturday, January 17, 2009

This is just a test.

Is it not just a test, life? Today, right now, emotionally drained, I look back on an incredible journey over the last few weeks and months, it's been a long year. After "our" ordeal with the ice storm, life like a rubber band, smacked me in the forehead and reality of so many other more pressing challenges was all too real. Bury them deep, hide from it, no matter what you do, there is no escape! Living in our moments of those five days in early December, selfishly, it was tough not to think about anything else but ourselves, just trying to maintain the homestead and resume to some form of normalcy. For some people I have in my life, great challenges were still presenting themselves. Or shall we call them tests of our ability to endure and persevere?

Some of you may know that I rode my bike in the 2007 Pan Mass Challenge...? I rode with an amazing bunch of people for an incredibly worthy cause. We rode in memory of the late, great John Bocko. We also rode for our little pedal partner, Hannah Stone-Carter. This precious little four and a half year old girl gave up an amazing fight. She ENDURED for more than half of her short life, She gave gifts of life lessons to her huge support network, and they gave back by continuous love and support. Her parents would often update her Care page, whenever I received emails from the Care Page, I would quickly log on and read the latest. Her Mom Kathy, is such a great writer and communicator of Hannah's on-going battle. Good and Bad mixed in, with great Hannahism's humor to make you smile and laugh. Sadly this amazing child made her way to the next journey in her life. I wish her parents comfort, strength and a lasting peace.

The holidays went by too quickly! I got a phone call from my friend Jason Roy around New Years...He said- "We almost lost Muk yesterday" "WHAT, Come on Jay whats up"? I said. Mukwa (I hope I spelled that right bud?) is Jason's dog. Mukwa is amazing! He is an incredibly smart and respectfully obedient dog. Apparently, Jason had spotted him on the "thin ice" of the pond they live on earlier this day. Jason told him to stay off the ice and stick around, b
ut Muk's rather curious and rebelious spirit overruled that day. It was roughly four in the afternoon and Diane, Jason's Girlfriend, heard a dog yelping/howling and water splashing. It was Muky, he had fallen in and was desperately trying to stay above the ice. Jason panicked, heart racing, he grabbed what ever he could find as means of rope, which ended up being an extension cord. He grabbed his pfd, kayak paddle and ran down to Di's kayak, which was close to the water and headed out on the ice. He got as close as he could and knelt in the boat and crashed through. Now stuck himself, he waited for the Rescue crew from the local Fire Department. From his description, and I can only imagine, it seemed like hours. He said so many things were going on, and time dragged. The Firemen came out with their cold water immersion suits and with some great effort, got the pup out of the water and a local Cop sped off with him to the nearest Veterinarian. I am happy to report both of them are fine after this ordeal....But scary how something can go bad so quick and could have been even worse. Someone was watching over them I think!

Mukwa on an ice fishing trip to the Allagash in 2004.

Life has dealt some amazing people in my life a bitter lesson in the last year. Quite a contrast in situations for me to come to grips with. Just under a year ago, one of my great friends was killed in a tragic climbing accident on Mount Washington, doing something he loved. About three months ago (fall 08) another dear friend fell ill- When I saw him in the hospital, I thought it would be the last time I would see him. Remarkably, he awoke! He battled his illness to the very end and now we all mourn the loss. Sadly, he suffered immense pain throughout his fight, but he fought so bravely. Dave was incredibly giving of himself to others. His last days were tough and he was ready to be relieved of his pain and suffering. I feel so badly for his adorable children and amazing wife. They don't deserve to be with out him. I don't understand life and why things are the way they are sometimes. To his entire family, I love you all more than you know and I pray for some comfort in your lives in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Death of a loved one SUCKS! It's ok to say...

To you Dave, my friend, I know you are in a better place and free from pain. We are left with heavy hearts and flooded with streams of tears. You were such an i
nspiration to me, such a unique character...I am so glad I was able to look in your eyes and tell you I love you recently. I am humbled by things you taught me and time I spent with you.

Rest in Peace my friend

One of my favorite pictures of Dave Caron in "his element" smoking his tobacco pipe at the Historic Farm House on Chamberlain Lake in the Heart of the Allagash Wilderness, March 2004.

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