I could write a book about the last month, but I won't. I will tell you it's been the best month in some time, for several reasons.
Kathryn and Will spent two weeks at remote camps, and both had amazing experiences. Kathryn made many new friends, and immersed herself in mostly new activities like horseback riding, swimming, canoeing and guitar. Will loved camp, too. He likes fishing now, just like his dad! They will take these memories with them forever. I'm so happy for them.
Their time away allowed me to reclaim some of my identity, as I told my friend Warren. After five years of dealing with the impact of cancer, care-giving and gradual recovery, I realized I had some catching up to do. I embarked on a trail run, a four-hour bike ride, and ate out by myself several times. My sister Anne and mother sent me the nicest Father's Day cards, with the former telling me to enjoy some "Jimmy time." And that I did. I cooked, went to hear music, stayed out late one night, and just laughed more.
Before I picked up the kids Monday morning, I spent two days at Charit Creek, a remote, rustic lodge in the Big South Fork, to chill and hike with friends. I didn't hear an unnatural sound for two days! On the way to Hidden Passage Trail in Pickett State Forest, we surprised a healthy black bear, who bolted into the woods. We saw turkey, box turtles, snakes, lizards and other critters. At night, we heard a proud whipporwhill, wild boar and other animals outside our cabins. We gazed at the stars in the middle of nowhere. So wonderful.
I am reclaiming a social life, bit by bit. I am meeting and spending time with old friends and wonderful new people.
June wasn't easy, especially earlier this month, but it was a blessing in so many ways.