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**This post may not be for everyone.  It may seem inappropriate, detached, “too soon”, insensitive, or simply not right.  Sorry**

So, my dad and I were talking on the phone yesterday.  We were going over the wonderful moment when I realized (yesterday) that the “new” noise my furnace was making was in fact the water valve going outside (I had previously shut it off but apparently not all the way).  Full of pride at figuring out what the noise was, the Holy Spirit (not really but maybe) told me to wait.  “Why would that valve need water?” I asked myself.  Hmmmm, I suppose the outside pvc pipe and/or hose (where this pipe lead) must have cracked.  Of course I hadn’t bled the hose dry in the fall, what am I “super home owner”?

Well, of course I couldn’t even get to the hose as I had piled snow up at the end of the driveway in front of the hose.  So I went around the house to check and see if there was some reason why the low current line I had sewn through the gutters (to melt ice/snow) wasn’t working.  Coming back from unplugging and replugging the wire (yeah, I’m technical like that) I realized that I could get to the hose walking along the front of the house beyond the snow pile.  Pipe coming out of the house?  Check.  Hose connection with the outside valve?  Check.  Granted, the outside PVC piping had pulled away from the house over a year ago but even that seemed fine though a good bit of it was, you guessed it, under snow.  It was then that I realized that the PVC piping didn’t seem to go into and out of the snow in a straight line.  Well, there was no crack or fissure.  It was completely cracked apart and in two pieces.  That may have been (as in “was most certainly”) where the water was going.  Having completely turned off the water to the outside when I was downstairs there was nothing to do until the spring.

So we moved on and talked about deer sightings.  We both agreed that only recently did the deer in the area seem to be moving again.  He told me that he had gone up to Trey’s grave site and that there were deer tracks all over it.  Truth be told, neither Rachel nor I have been there since the day of his funeral.  We are just not cemetery people (which reminds me, I have to make a payment on Rachel and my plots).  I thought about it once but he’s simply not there.  He’s in heaven.  There are more than enough memories here at the house to fill my mind with great thoughts and warm moments to relive.

I told him about a guy I saw online who would take a lawn chair, a newspaper, and I cooler and sit on his cemetery plot.  His quote?  “This is my land, I own this property.  I’m going to enjoy it while I’m alive, not just after I die.”  He would then sit, drink, and read his paper all in the sunshine enjoying his “property.”

So we got to talking more about the deer and cemetery stuff and ended up with him saying that next year he wouldn’t go out into the woods an hour away on the opening day of buck season.  He would simply go to Trey’s cemetery.  I imagined my dad resting the barrel of his rifle on some grave site to stabilize his shot.  I told him that he had my permission to hunt on my property.  He told me that if the police came up he would say, “Private property!!!  I’ve got permission to hunt here!  What’s the big deal?”  We both laughed real hard and did say that some of the other folks at the cemetery may not quite understand.

Now, I KNOW this isn’t nearly as funny to you as it was to my dad and me when we were talking on the phone.  The sheer picture in my mind and the audacity with which he would speak to the police was hilarious.  Yet, there is an obvious lesson here as well.  My dad and I haven’t spoken that much about Trey’s passing.  He was able to, intentionally or not, let me know that he had been to the site and that it was on his mind and heart.  We spoke freely about it which let him know that I was ok.  It was a nice, “normal”, conversation that was safe and certainly encouraged further communication about the matter.  If nothing else, it was a great time simply laughing with my dad.

Did we disrespect Trey or his memory?  No.  Did we hurt anyone else with the story?  Well, not until I put it on here but I warned you about that.  Did we create a fakeness to our grieving?  No.  I don’t think he went up there to laugh and get material for a phone call.  Trey’s death is heavy on his heart.  It’s ok, just as ok as when I tear up thinking about him in certain moments or when I see pictures, videos, or simply his toys/clothing.  It’s a process that has many different components.

The key is that, for a moment, we did it together.  We were not meant to live this life alone.  We were created to be in relationships.  We live together, laugh together, cry together, and (I may or may not have said this a hundred times before) never feel alone (unless you want to be from time to time, I’m all about that).

Thanks for checking in again.  I really wish you could have been a part of our phone call.  It WAS really funny.  I thank you for grieving (and to a degree celebrating the life of Trey) with us.  Your prayers mean the world to us.

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