Last year at about this time, I climbed Mt Wire, on the edge of Salt Lake City's foothill mountains, on my birthday. It was a bittersweet day, filled with smiles and hope on the one hand, and a growing realization on the other hand that I would soon be an orphan.
My dad was in the hospital in Germany, and I knew it was the beginning of the end. I climbed Mt Wire on that day to show myself that I had the physical strength to endure a challenge and that this strength would translate to the mental clarity and strength that would be needed to deal with the situation that would soon present itself.
I am still dealing with the after-effects of that day, though one year later. My family has been faced with so many challenges, yet none of those challenges seem out of reach.
Last year was brilliant sunshine up on the hill. This year, the winter's first snow dusted the peaks and the charred remainder of a summer wildfire was evidenced. Fresh oak brush sprouts up through the charred remains of old skeleton branches and promises resilience. The fresh snow in the surrounding peaks looks clean and fresh.
With another year come new challenges. With another year comes the strength to endure.