The trip far exceeded any expectations I had. My sister, Melody, and I were so excited to be seeing Colorado for the first time. Mary and Andy had been with Mom and Dad in later years, so it was a wonderful thing for them and Mom to return to a place Dad loved and where they shared so many happy memories with him. It was the perfect one year memorial of his journey Home.
Many warned we would not make it for a week in Colorado without an argument or disagreement. Not only did we prove them wrong, we found the experience to be completely the opposite. The week seemed to only draw us closer together.
Thinking back, there were several elements which made that possible. Love, prayer, forgiveness, respect and the willingness to let bygones be bygones. Almost every morning I would see someone sitting in a quiet corner of the beautiful patio overlooking the river and mountains reading his or her Bible and spending time in prayer. I'm sure at least one of them was praying for the patience to put up with me, and it seemed to work! (Except maybe for Charlie some days, but that was because he had to ride in a car with me snoring for so many hours!)
I am so grateful for my family, and I am so proud of my Mom. She was amazing. She had asked my daughter, Rachel, to go with her as her "caretaker". Not only did she help Rachel overcome her fear of heights by holding her hand and talking her across the bridge over the Royal Gorge, she set her mind to making a hike to Adam's Falls despite the steep trail that led the 0.3 of a mile to get there. In Texas 0.3 miles may not sound so intimidating, but at a rocky, steep, uphill climb, it becomes quite another story. She even put on some exercise capris and a long t-shirt and let the girls help her into the hot tub! Among a few extremely melancholy moments, she really let her hair down and enjoyed this vacation, and her enjoyment brought so much happiness to each of us who had the pleasure to share it with her.
Thank you, Andy, for the promise and for seeing it through. I will never forget one special moment of the Colorado adventure. I will always remember the laughter, the tears, the peace, the beauty, the togetherness that was our family vacation.