Sunday, June 27, 2010

Michigan and Campbell Lake

Campbell Lake in little ol’ Hesperia, Michigan is where I spent my summers. My parents found their way up there when I was around 3 years old. But interestingly enough, my Grandma Cunningham told me that she & Grandpa vacationed there during the summer when my Dad was small. Much history on that small lake.

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It’s the perfect lake for water skiing and fishing (depending on who you ask). My brothers and Dad hunt up there during the non-summer seasons and I have a string of memories involving my Mom, me, iced tea and summer novels. Endless afternoons of nothing to do but for my Mom to catch up on whatever book she was on that day and for me to splash around in the swimming area. Or talk her ear off as we sat on the front porch, watching the boys try to knock each other off the wave runners. This is my lake. My Mom’s lake.

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And this is where we spent the anniversary of my Mom’s going away. May 22nd was 1 full year. The end of most “firsts” – thank God. But it was also a reminder of the sadness, broken hearts, pain, closeness and love we all went through just a year before.

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Not an extraordinarily dreary or beautiful day. Not necessarily grief stricken as we all woke and wandered around, wondering what to do. Just quiet. Much like that Friday morning, 365 days before. Quiet, contemplative.

Dinner came, Misty and I made chicken cordon blue for us. For the same “us” who sat vigilant in a Hospice the year before. We all sat together at a picnic table, at sunset, overlooking the lake. And ate, chatted, and even managed to laugh a little.

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The other days at the lake were filled with more family, Grandma Cunningham, Greg & Margaret, and the great grandchildren. My cousins Nate and Matt Gelderloos were there to enjoy the perfect May Saturday we were having. Nate brought his son, Kayden, who is close in age to Charlie. It was a treat for Grandma to have so many of her great babies around.

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Of course there were wave runners, swimming, wine, a campfire, and watching Bryan power wash everything there was to power wash. The day just winds around from sitting to doing to visiting to goofing to napping.

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The lake, for me, is a hard place to be because it feels the most empty without her. But the sunsets are gorgeous and I’m hoping the lone loon who kept an eye on all of us most of *that* Saturday was there to remind me of the sunsets. And the memories.

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