To Live

This evening I drove away from the house and took the long way to the book store for some Christmas shopping.  I was driving along the highway with the canyon to the left of me just as day was disappearing into the heaviness of dusk.

I couldn't help but grab my digital camera and attempt some photos.  I know nothing about photography, but I wish I did.  I want to capture so badly the beauty that I'm surrounded by every day-- my family, my friends, the beautiful world.

It seems impossible.

I love dusk.  There's something so lonely and beautiful about it.

I thought about my uncle Kent.  Yesterday afternoon we drove through this same canyon to enjoy some fresh air.

A month ago Kent was in an operating room having a large tumor removed from his brain that they had discovered just days before.  They didn't know if he would ever be able to function or live in this world again.

Kent is my Dad's younger brother.  When we were kids we didn't see him often.  He was in the bay area busily pursuing his doctorate of psychology and building a career, and with six boys and myself for kids, we were a large, unsophisticated, rowdy Mormon family.

I always loved and cared about him though, even if we didn't see him often.

But over the last 10 years he has become part of my family.  He's been to all the weddings, he comes to the family gatherings, and we have all grown much closer to him.

I was relieved to know that the surgery went well, but saddened that Kent has such a hard road of recovery.  The relearning he has ahead-- a whole new way to live.  I can't imagine it.

Last week my parents were in town and we went to visit him where he is living for now at my Aunt Karen's house.  My choir was singing in the Andrea Bocelli concert that night at the MGM Grand.  I felt nervous and didn't know quite what to expect.  I talked briefly to Kent about it, and he told me that he hoped that I would be able to take it all in.

Driving to the concert that night I thought about what Kent had said about taking it all in with his labored speech, the large scar on the side of his head, and the nervousness melted right away.  I was here.  I had a fantastic opportunity in front of me.  And I had the chance to enjoy it.

And enjoy it I did.  I loved everything about it.  The rehearsals.  Being backstage with access to everything.  David Fuller, Bocelli, the screaming crowds.  It was amazing, and an experience I won't soon forget.

I was grateful then for Kent, and was reminded again tonight to stop and soak it all in a little.

I feel so grateful for family.  For the love I share with Rick.  For the love we have for our children, and the wonderful people they are.

To live in beauty, and love, and light.
(picture taken yesterday at Red Rocks)

To learn.  For second chances.  To live:
(My wonderful uncle Kent yesterday at Red Rocks)