sorrow and joy in the ups and downs...

I have finally settled back into the winterless Wasatch Range again.  The tailspin I spoke of last post has subsided momentarily, and I slept for two straight days.  The roller coaster of life has been moving with fervor.  I am blessed to be on the ride, but what a long strange trip it's been.  I am still all about the love, as any reader of these posts knows by now.  However, my appreciation of it's dual nature has been heavily reinforced as of late.  The sorrow and joy of the love in the human existence is powerful and equal.  More love equates to more joy, but also an equal and opposite amount of sorrow.  It brings us the greatest joys, and the deepest sorrows.    
I traveled incessantly to and from my Wisconsin home this month.  I celebrated another winter with a ski movie party at Wilmot Mt. on the 16th.  I returned to SLC only to turn around the following weekend to mourn my grandmother's passing.  Then I returned to SLC again only to return once more to mourn the passing of a dear family friend, and see my cousin married off.  

^The Schaetz family and my own have grown very close over one week a year vacations together for the last 27 years.  Sally Schaetz, the nurturing mother of the clan, passed away from the cancer she has so bravely fought for the last few years.  Her life and fight was an inspiration to anyone who was blessed by her acquaintance.  She was young, but her life was full.

^Dave and Sally Schaetz...

^...and then three young boys, Jon, Bobby, and Mike.  Now these boys are men, and they are proving to be shining examples of their mother's legacy.

^Sally and her husband, Dave, built their lives and family together.  My heart breaks for Dave, and yet it was the comfort of his home and family that warmed my heart with a cold beer after the wake on Thursday evening.  I was touched that our families could still smile and laugh together a little in the shadow of their loss.    

^This is a photo of the first vacation that we spent together all those years ago.  What a fabulous tradition that started that week.  I am thankful for epics like that, and the ones we will share together long into the future.

^Sally's newest grandchild Sofia is the manifestation of the beauty in the Schaetz family.  My own mother can not get enough of her adorable little personality.  I look forward to seeing her grow up with the children my wife and I plan to have one week each year in the warm summer glow of tradition in the north woods of Wisconsin. Just as her father, her uncles, and my brother and I did.

^Thankfully, the sorrow of love in the end of a young and gifted life is equally and oppositely manifested in the joy of two young people beginning a new life of their own.  The breadth of the emotion of witnessing my cousin getting married was vast amongst my family.  We recently mourned the loss of our patriarch grandmother and raw emotional state of us all was evident.  The wedding and celebration of the joy of Allissa and Keith's young love was so much more deeply appreciated by all of us.  It was a beautiful and special wedding.  I am thankful I can leave my home for a while on that joyous note.  Lord knows that I am very deeply appreciative for it now as much as ever.