The Return

Dearest Rachel –

So, this morning, I’ll be heading up to Camp Awana to discuss the budget. Scott, Brian and I have been planning to do this for the last two weeks: each time, there’s been a health issue that’s gotten in the way. Given the tenor of the times, I probably don’t have to spell out what happened.

At least I haven’t been the one to back out. Although the others have made it plain to me that they would understand if I did. After all, it’s the first time I’ve been there since the accident.

Still, I expect to spend most of my time up there in the office, just within the camp entrance, and not really go into the camp itself.

On the other hand, I have to face it all sooner or later, don’t I?

I really don’t know what to say or think about this trip. On the one hand, this is all strictly business; stuff needs to be done, and we need to check in with everyone there to see what they need to spend over the course of the upcoming year. Especially since this looks to be a much more conventional year, in terms of camping programs – so, very different from last year, but more what the regular staff is used to, so they can give us a rough picture of what to expect. It’s a bit of a nuisance to drive two hours each way in order to do it, but that’s how it goes.

On the other, of course, there’s the fact that this is where you died. I could, if I wanted to, stand at the very spot where I watched the EMTs swarm you in their attempts to revive you. I could probably as easily locate the place where you lay.

If I wanted to.

Which I don’t.

I’m sure some would tell me that to go there might bring some form of closure, to see those places, restored to their vernal glory as life blooms where there had been death. I’m not so sure.

I imagine there will also be other times; the camp is an ongoing concern, after all, and the donations the place received in your name helped as well (I hope you don’t mind that I asked that donations in lieu of flowers go here – I figured you would bear the place no ill will, and given this was part of our church’s programs, you would want it to survive well into the future. The fact that, when they were raising funds to bring them through the Covid season, you suggested a donation to them twice the figure I had planned on would seem to bear that out). So if I’m not ready to face those places now, there will be other chances to do so.

Still, I don’t know how I feel about being so close to it all.

For that matter, I’m not sure how the staff deal with it. Megan actually saw what happened, and Larry was with Daniel and I at the hospital (and has told me of coming back to the sight of the spotlights still shining at the bottom of the hill in anticipation of the helicopter that never came for you. He had those lights shut off right quick). I wonder if my presence would be a reminder of what happened and make them somewhat more uncomfortable. These are unusual circumstances, but they’re an indelible part of who I am to everybody from this point on.

So it’s not just me, it’s everyone involved.

And I don’t know if any of us are truly ready to deal with it, or if that’s the only way we can move forward.

We’ll just have to do what needs doing.

As soon as we figure out what that is.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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