Monday, January 01, 2007

The Adventure Continues

oday is theme day, and we have been asked to pick our favorite picture that we posted in 2006. For me it is certainly this picture of the Dobies I posted back on 11/5. It is not just the picture, but what it represents for me.

Our world changed radically in 2006. In August of 2005, my Mom developed Breast Cancer, and began aggressive treatments. It seemed to be going well, and they embarked on building a new home in Delta. In March of 2006 all of that changed. The home was about 2/3 done, and it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain. We found out on a Friday night, and by Sunday evening, we had packed up everything we thought we would need into our motorhome, and headed west. I told my manager that we needed to go, and she said, “Yes you do, we will figure it out”. As a side note, AOL gets a lot of grief in the press & public, but I am here to tell you, as an employee, they have stood behind when things got tough, and I am very grateful to my management chain for allowing me to work remote from Delta.

We got here the first Wednesday in April, never having done anything before except drive through the town. We parked our motorhome on the building site, a bluff overlooking a valley full of cows, with the Dobies as the backdrop. The 11/9 post will give you an idea of where we were “camped”. We settled in, and began to oversee the final construction while my Dad focused on the ever increasing treatments, and the heavy toll it was taking on Mom. Our goal was to get Mom into her new house in time for her to enjoy it. We held out hope, but really knew it was only a matter of time. My brother & sister made frequent visits to help out, and we found ourselves in Grand Junction on a regular basis. There were a couple of other scares along the way, and we found ourselves with both Mom and Dad having emergency room visits on the same day, and another day where I needed to get Dad into surgery, then take Mom to Chemo, then take Mom to visit Dad in recovery. All this time, my wife Patrice & I were living in the motorhome with 5 of our 6 kids. To make room, my son Tim lived in a 2 man tent for1-2 months next to the motorhome.

The final building progress was slow, but we eventually got Mom into her home in late May. In June we had the first party, a surprise birthday party for Mom. Over 50 people showed. Later in June we had an armed robbery, but they caught the guy a few days later. As the summer wore on, I was given permission to make our move permanent, and we drove back to Virginia to pack up all our things. After that, my boys & I did 10 days of backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch. In the middle of all this, for reasons I still can not explain, I decided to start Delta Daily Photo. The comments from all of you brought a great deal of encouragement as well.

Life was hectic, and Mom grew weaker each day. She went from walking on her own, to a walker, to a wheel chair in a matter of weeks. Another incredible friend came here for a week just to help. He built a wheel chair ramp, helped with the daily duties that needed to be done, and sat with Mom, showing her pictures. The back porch got a lot of use each day as we collapsed from all the events of the day. The view of the Dobies was soothing.

On October 8th, the cancer took its final toll, and Mom went to be with the Lord. My post that day says it all. We scattered Moms ashes in the high country to the south, and 11/2 will give you an idea about that area. Very special friends helped us get everyone into this wonderful place so late in the season. Thanksgiving and Christmas were different without Mom.

Through all of this turmoil, God provided exactly what we needed to get through it all. We were here only a couple of days before we made what will undoubtedly be life long friends. Our kids were welcomed into a very active youth group at our new church home, and the community reached out in many ways. When Mom died, they stepped up again. At Mom’s memorial service down in Ouray, the worship leader & husband of our new church came and lead the worship. Our pastor ran a video camera, and other friends from Delta came and supported us. Friends from the Denver and Colorado Springs also came to assist with the service, sing, and offer comfort. One friend loaned us a 2nd refrigerator to handle all the food that was brought over during this period. We will be forever grateful to all of you. God knew what we were going through, and provided exactly what we needed.

In late October, I was driving past the hospital where so many radiation treatments were done on Mom, and I noticed that the sun was low, and the Dobies were putting on a special fall show. The Dobies seem to be ever present for us in 2006, never failing to put on a show. They are one of the identifying things for us in 2006.

We are now living with my Dad, trying to figure out what the next steps will be. Delta has become home to us, and we are looking to give back to this wonderful community. Our home in Virginia is on the market, and once it sells, we will put our plans into action. God’s grace and provisions supported us in 2006, and I have no doubt that the plan for 2007 is simply wonderful.

Let the adventure begin!

Please visit other Theme Day entries:

Porto (Portugal) -Albuquerque, NM (USA) -St. Paul, (USA) Kate -Greenville,SC (USA) -Stayton, OR (USA) -Szentes (Hungary) -Hyde (UK) -London (UK) -Dubai (UAE) -Buenos Aires (Argentina) -Shanghai (China) -Nelson (New Zealand) -Twin Cities, MN (USA) -Joplin MO (USA) -Stavanger (Norway) -Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) -Not Strictly Seattle, WA (USA) -Jakarta (Indonesia) -Auckland (New Zealand) -Sharon, CT (USA) -Evry (France) -(Aust) John -Newcastle upon Tyne (England) -Paris (France) -Bandung (Indonesia) -Brussels (Belgium) -Minneapolis MN (USA) -Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) -Seattle, WA (USA) -Budapest (Hungary) -Singapore by Zannnie (Singapore) -Tenerife (Spain) -Santa Clara, CA (USA) -Houston, TX (USA) -Sydney by Nathalie (Aust) -San Diego, CA (USA) -Vancouver, BC (Canada) -Singapore by KeropokMan (Singapore) -East Lansing, MI (USA) -Sydney by Sally (Australia) -Tucson, AZ (USA) -Nottingham (UK) -Sequim, by Norma -Hong Kong -Vantaa, Finland -Kyoto (Japan) -Tokyo (Japan) -Chattanooga -Santiago (Chile) -erlin (Germany) -Trondheim (Norway) -Delta, CO (USA) -


edwin s said...

it has begun! happy new year bill!

Helen said...

You have had a tough year. I'm sorry about your mom! I hope 2007 is all you hope it will be!
Happy New Year from Albuquerque Daily Photo!

~tanty~ said...

The picture is amazing! Also the story behind it. Happy new year Bill! Wish you a blessed and prosperous new year.

Olivier said...

tres belle photo pour le passage a 2007, et tres bon commentaire.
A suivre donc

very beautiful photograph for the passage has 2007, and very good comment. To thus follow

denton said...

Your mother was a lucky woman to have such a loving and capable family. Bravo to AOL, your wife, your kids, your friends, your church, and most of all to you.

Anonymous said...

Bill, you story has many elements to it: sadness, courage, love, and commitment. Thank you for sharing. I admire the spirt and spiritual aspect you express in this life's journey of yours. You and your family have been supported beautifully in so many ways, and I hope that 2007 brings more happiness and less tragedy and troubles to your home and life. Kate at visualstpaul.

Lavender Lady said...

Your parents couldn't have ask for a better son. blessing on you and yours in 2007.

photowannabe said...

Bill, where would we be without the Lord and our dear family and friends?
I remember finding your site around the time you were going through all of this and what an encouragement you were to me.
This year will be an adventure in faith for you and I hope to be on that journey with you.
Beautiful picture by the way.

ruth said...

A new year and new adventures with loved ones. The photo is beautiful. Thanks for your openness. I wish you and your family all the best.

Curly said...

You and I have both had tough times this year Bill, we have both lost our mums to cancer after arduous suffering, and yet when I see your photography I keep wondering if you have to try hard to bring us some of the scenes, or whether your eye and camera are guided for you?

Let's hope the new adventure brings many many rewards,

best wishes for 2007

Curly's Photoshop

Bill said...

Thank you all for the many kind words.

Curly, it is very interesting, not once since I have started has DDP seemed liked a struggle. It is more of a natural outlet, and I enjoy all the comments. I don't see any end in sight!

Jenny said...

Extraordinary photo - it needed to be seen enlarged - and extraordinary story -t hank you for sharing all the details. Happy New Year - here's to more great photos and new friendships in 2007!

Chad Oneil said...

Wow, man! Sounds like God has helped you and your family through a lot.

Chad Oneil said...

I forgot to mention about the photo. Everytime I see photos of great scenery like that, I think about the greatness and power of God. To have created that Beauty. To quote John Eldridge, "God is wastefully creative". He creates so much that isn't even seen by us or is only seen for an evening like a beautiful sky!

Meg in Nelson said...

That was touching and sad. I hope 2007 will be a kinder to you and your family.

Kim said...

Dear Bill, I'm glad to know how the hospital setting plays into this photograph. The photo is magnificent and the colors very special. Their bittersweetness says a great deal about your dear mother's passing. I'm sorry for this loss of someone so dear to you. I'm so glad to hear of the faithful help you have received, even though you were new.

You and I and a couple other daily photo regulars have been leading somewhat parallel lives this year. Our stories intersect at several places, and I can appreciate so much of what has been your year. Like you, through it all I have found a creative outlet and a little time for myself and my thoughts through involvement with this community at daily photo. It is satisfying to have something so "doable" in the midst of dealing with really heavy stuff. Like you, we are fairly new to our city. I have found newbies to a city to have really great blogs about it, and yours is no exception. Something about fresh eyes! Like you, our weekly fellowship group has been amazingly supportive, as have friends and family, throughout this difficult year in which my brother died, I moved my ill mother from the Mojave desert here to be near us, and most recently my husband was found to have a brain tumor and had it surgically removed, unerwent radiation/chemo etc. The cancer won't spread to other areas and blessedly hasn't affectted his normal cognition or physical abilities, but will take his life in a number of months. He's a relatively young guy, and this was a bolt from the blue. He gave me a tripod and a new lens for Christmas. I'm seeing through a few new lenses through all this change, as you and your family have, I'm sure. All of them have let in more light and reflect more glory, at least from my perspective. Blessings to you in 2007. Yours is number 52 in all the sites I visited today, and what wonderful shots everyone shared. I look forward to more in this new year.

Candice & Megan said...

Stunning! Happy New Year from Houston Daily Photo

Keropok Man said...

Have a wonderful blessed year.

Your testimony is so heart warming. He will continue to be your provider in all the things that you do. PTL.

Ioanna said...

Your photo is amazing!
I wish 2007 be a very happy year for you and your family!

Felicia said...

Thanks for sharing your story and your wonderful photos with us. Best wishes for 2007!

dutchie said...

It's been a while since i visited all the blogs and today i read your story.
You seem to have a wonderfully close knit family and i am very sorry for your loss.
May 2007 bring all you hope for it.