January 19th. A beautiful day to go flying. James and Caillen did just that. When the call came from Caillen from an unknown number with "we are ok, but..."
I was on the phone with Kate calling her back home from an evening out with her friend Ruth. Thenthe girlsh and I were in the car. I really don't remember the drive to Rideout Hospital in Marysville. I do remember the sinking feeling. I had that feeling before...too many times.
The newspaper captured this photo:
We rounded the corner and saw Caillen. He was fine. Tears of relief. There was no James. Just a space waiting for him. We waited, and waited. Caillen and his dad, Darryl waited with us. Darryl is a gentle, calming soul!
Then, there he was, strapped to a gurney, clothes shredded. Shaking from shock and covered in blood. Mud and grass caked areas of his body.
The plane lost power on takeoff.
The rescue vehicles set fire to the grass, catalytic converters.
James spent 3 days in the ICU.
February, I traveled to Montana for a week. Went skiing with my brother and came down with whooping cough. Yay!
March, Kate turned 21! Again...am I old enough? Don't answer that! Kate "is" what it feels like when your heart races, suddenly.
May! We graduated Sarah from high school!
June, we had a huge graduation party for Sarah and got to see lots of people, near and dear.
July, I started "officially" working for the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce where I had been volunteering since March. "Executive Assistant"
August, Kate began her senior year at Azusa Pacific University! Sarah began her freshman year of college at our local community college!
September, adjusting to the new life of no longer homeschooling and James' retirement hovers on the horizon.
October, I went for a short visit to Montana. James officially retires from 23 years in the USAF!
November, job searching for James. Wonderful Thanksgiving spent with the girls here in our home.
December, job hunting, Christmas, and all the intentions of getting those cards out on time. Did not happen!
Then the last week of December, the news came. 8 job offers later, we decide on Alaska.
We don't know what the next chapter brings. God willing, we will celebrate as Caillen and Sarah get married. We will celebrate Kate graduating college! And God willing, we will find our way back together no matter where each of us is.
Tonight, I write from my comfy couch next to the fireplace. James is on his way to Alaska to start his new job with the FAA on Monday. Kate starts classes Monday. Sarah goes back to work Monday. And I start sorting, packing and remembering. Remembering what an adventure life has been so far!