Climbing the mountain

I never thought I’d be the one encouraging my husband, the father of our four, to climb Mt. Rainier – again.  I’ve agonized while waiting for his safe return more than once the past couple of years as he’s climbed various peaks in the Pacific Northwest.  But the euphoria he brings home with him is a high he rides for weeks and months.  The conquering of something great appeals to the essence of who he is as a man.  So I’ve eased up on my initial fear and the past month have gently put in plugs for him to get out and conquer yet again.

I wrote in the days after Christopher father died so suddenly, so tragically about the mountain of sadness that we were under.  It seemed totally insurmountable.

It still does and if you’ve lost someone very close, you know the feeling that we are feeling.  The feeling that everyone else has moved on, life does not slow down to allow you to breathe, so much around you is ‘back to normal’.

But life feels so not normal.

Someone was missing at Rylee’s birthday dinner.

Someone won’t be here for the slew of spring birthday’s that our family celebrates.

Someone isn’t here to tease my children about the ‘monkey in the bathroom mirror’ that always makes them giggle.

As with most things, as husband and wife we process things very differently.  In the differences, flawless communication is sometimes hard to come by.  And as we find our way…there are four sets of eyes and ears watching, listening, taking in the way we choose to proceed.

It would be so easy to cave to the hopelessness that seems to taunt me.  To be completely absorbed by the sadness and regret that washes over me.  To pull the covers over my head and refuse to welcome the new day.  To argue that it is all too much.

Too much to bear.

And it is.  The mountain looms and the road is slow and long.

How will we make it?

What has taken place is beyond our control, much of life is completely out of our control.

But we choose how we respond.  That much is up to us.

Of all the kind words that have been shared with us these past 7 weeks, the ones that are ringing in my ears daily are these:

[In life there are] these little moments to look back and say, “we have come through, God has brought us through.”  When you look back at Rylee’s devastating health problems, your money & relationship issues, marriage instabilities, etc… you are able to be amazed some days that you have come through.  Mountains that were insurmountable are now just hills on the horizon behind you.  It doesn’t make your current mountains any more surmountable, but does it help just a smidgen to see those other ones you have somehow crossed over?

I will be praying for you to just make it to bedtime.  Sometimes, that’s all there is.  But there will still be manna in the morning.

Hills on the horizon behind me.  Really?

Seems unimaginable at this point and there are so many things I question and doubt right now.

But I have seen God weave miracles in my life and others and do things that I was even brazen enough to tell Him were not possible.  And in the deep places of my heart, I trust in God’s ability to bring me through.  To bring anyone through what they feel is beyond surviving.  Even by the minute.  Even in failure and doubt.  Even in the midst of such sadness.



We are praying for your family Karissa as you conquer this storm. You are so strong and I know you will get through anything you are faced with. I miss you and am thinking fo you my friend


I like what you said about past mountains now being just hills behind us and that God brought us through – won’t he again? I’m chewing on that, trying to remember how gigantic those mountains actually were in my past. You are a good wife to encourage your husband in what is life to him, when it costs you.


I love you so much.