Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hey Jude

Judy, son Marcus, and his wife Jana
On Monday, August 3rd I headed to our homestead in Temple where we continue to work on the house in hopes of moving out there this fall.  As I drove across the bridge over the Sandy River in town a huge adult eagle flew directly over my windshield.  I know there is a mated pair who claim territory on this river as well as a two year old juvenile still hanging about.  Still it always has my heart skip a beat and then soar whenever I see one of these magnificent birds.

This day my job was to continue to stack our wood pile that lies outside on the ground into a shed and under cover for the winter coming.  At one point in my hauling and stacking I stopped for some water and looked up at the clouds, a frequent pass time for me out there.  Today the mountain was building thunder heads.  There, soaring very high was an Eagle riding the thermals.  Ah, two sightings in one day, fabulous!  I went back to work.  After several hours of stacking I called it quits, took my dog and went to the lake for a swim.  On our return I laid on the deck in the shade of a Maple tree and enjoyed the summer breeze blowing over me, cooling and drying me from my morning of hard labor.  As I opened my eyes directly in my line of sight was another Eagle soaring higher and higher into that towering  thunder head still forming over the mountains.

"What is going on in the Universe that I get to see three Bald Eagles in one day?  Something is happening somewhere" was all I could think.  I remembered Stanford Addison, the Arapaho medicine man who conducted the sweat lodge for me in Wyoming only months after Jim had passed, saying, "Eagles man, they see what's needed, they look straight through you.  Give them your prayers, they take them straight up."  And so, this day, I sent a prayer straight up.

Monday night, back in Farmington, I got an email from a dear friend of mine, Mick.  He informed me that he had lost his wife, Judy, earlier that day.  I went into shock and then curled over and assumed the fetal position and wailed.  Mick and Judy, I've known them over 25 years, two people I love like family.  My heart ached and felt like it had been ripped from me.

That night, a short time after getting this news from Mick, those thunderheads released their energy with a severe storm complete with bolts of lightening streaking down between the houses here in town, powerful winds bending and whipping the trees back and forth and a pelting rain coming sideways.  Dave and I sat outside under the cover of the porch just holding each other.  All I could think was, "even the heavens are raging against this!" 

Judy, or Jude, as Mick always called her, is one of the few people who when I think of her all I see is a huge smile and all I hear is laughter.  Judy, who may have been the only person who could have moved me off my sisters couch where I collapsed after Jim's memorial service.  I was beyond exhausted and could only sit on this couch with immediate family and my closest friends gathered.  But, my niece is lead singer in a band, The Awesome, and they were playing that night in Portland.  Judy said to me, "We have to go hear Jennywren sing and you have to come Mary!"
"I do? Really? "
"YES! You really do!" she said with her laugh.
Judy and I, center stage on the dance floor

And so I went, we all went, and we all danced and sang and we closed the bar.  I don't think anyone but Judy could have convinced me to move again and to go out that night.

"Hey Jude, take a sad song and make it better ... "

I have a ton of stories filled with crazy adventures, laughter and love that involves Judy, Mick and their family.  Such fabulous memories.  She was such a wonderful woman and friend

It's been a difficult week for me since last Monday, but certainly not as hard or as bad as the week that her family has had to endure ... or the lifetime that remains now without this amazing woman.
I found comfort in the image that came to me one, sleepless, night this week; I saw my Jim and one of Judy's sons, Jason (who passed last April) together, taking her hand and leading her off with them.  This image is one of peace and love and has me feeling she's OK now, she's with a lot of other loved ones on the other side.  Any pain she was enduring is gone, there is only peace now.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad,
Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let her into your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.

Jude, don't be afraid,
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin,
Then you begin to make it better.


I will miss that woman like I miss the summer sunshine.
My youngest sister recently commented to me about how much loss I have had in my life in the last five years.  And it's true.  Yet, these people who filled my life taught me how to love.  And losing them so early is teaching me how to live.

Loving you all back,

Judy and I dancing (and part of Mick)
The Awesome

Judy, Mick, Gunnar, Karmo (my sister) at Jims memorial party