Okay, I am going to step out of my comfort zone on this. I have things run through my head every day and normally that is as far as they get. I would like to start putting them down and decided a blog might just be the way to go. Hope you enjoy what you read and that it will get you to thinking about life as well.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
May 1st -
Me: 11:26 AM Hi
11:27 AM Did you here about Saturday?
11:30 AM Joshua: No, I did not HEAR about Saturday
me: Ron, Leanne, Ariel, me, Stephen, Darla and her brother are hiking rainy falls. You and Caleb are invited. We are going to meet at Stroms at 12.
Joshua: Wow, okay, that makes me very excited! I'll see if I can come: I'd love to! I love hiking. :D Thank you for the invitation!
~Joshua S. Eddy
May 5th...........A day I shall never forget. Josh was the first one to the trail head. He was pacing back and forth waiting for us all to be ready to go and so ready to be on the move. We had loaded his back pack with so many snacks, water bottles, and miscellaneous items and he was glad of it. So ready to be on the trail for the first time since Alert. We all reached the trail and we were off. Mr Strom I believe was put in the lead and Stephen took the end making us girls feel safe and protected. Ariel was anxious to start up a wonderful conversation, but was stating how sad it was that we could only walk the trail single file therefore not all being in the conversation at the same time. I strained to listen for a while and then let myself drift back a little and take in the amazingness of God's creation. There were so many flowers, so many shades of green, the sound of the river was so refreshing, the streams looked so clear and pure, and the voices of friends in happy conversation drifting passed my ears as we walked. I breathed and let myself relax. From time to time I would catch parts of the conversation about Free will as Ariel, Josh, and Caleb debated among themselves. I wish I could have caught all of Josh's perspective, but there was one particular point where he made a statement for his view and Ariel told him to prove it. Without hesitation he brought up a verse in scripture...I am trying and trying to remember which one it is. I will ask Ariel and post it as soon as I find it. I am not sure he ever mentioned which verse just that he quoted it, but then with him in front talking it was hard to hear everything he said. All I truly remember is, the verse completed his presentation on free will and Ariel conceded that he had a valid point that was worth her looking into further. I smiled because I was discovering that Josh and I seemed to be on the same page and we both had big smiles on our faces. We proceeded down the trail and stopped at a few small stream/waterfalls for Leanne to take pictures. They really were beautiful. I was desperate to get my camera out, but I didn't want to miss anything and figured I could take my time on the way out to snap all the beauty through the lens. We passed a huge cement wall/structure sitting by the water and it left us wondering about the history and story behind it and what it was for. We finally came to the biggest stream on our hike and all stopped to have a picture taken. Josh instantly tried climbing up as far as he could into the waterfall and up some rocks to stand. I ended up just a bit higher than him as it seemed the only place to get us all balanced into the photo without standing right in the water was up. So up I went. People laughed that Josh wasn't at the top part anymore and I felt a bit bad for my choice of climbing up so high, but we all laughed and were having a good time. We were almost to Rainy Falls. Just around a few more corners and there were were. I was so shocked to see the water so high. The lovely sandy beach spots I had remembered as a young girl were nothing but water. The trail ended completely at the falls. There were several other people down at the falls and a bunch of rafters who had a special permit to float down that dangerous part of the river. Everybody kinda spread out at that point captured by different aspects of our location. Ariel sat on a rock near the falls, I believe at that point the first thing Josh did was put down his pack and bound over to where two rafters with newer canon cameras were standing and taking pictures. I am so thankful my friend Darla was sitting near and heard the conversation. Josh was asking about the cameras they were using and one was the 7D which I had just purchased and a new Mark something camera that had only been out for about 2 weeks. Josh told me after his conversation with them how exciting it was to talk with them. Darla told me later that they asked Josh what camera he was using and if he had brought it with him. He answered and said he didn't bring it because "he was accident prone". I decided I could not wait another moment to get my camera out and start taking pictures of the beauty before us. I started to play with settings to get it just right and then ever one started trying to get my attention as there was a rafter getting ready to come down and through the falls. I got the camera ready and snapped the pictures as the rafter came down and then appeared to be completely swallowed up by the water only to rise again and surge through the falls. It was frightening and amazing all at the same time. So much power and strength. The rafters finally moved on and I proceeded to snap shots of our happy little group. Ariel overlooking the water, Leanne getting out snacks and making sure everyone was taken care of, Ron sitting behind me on another rock making a fabulous Ron face, I shot a picture of Stephen as he came over to sit down next to where I was at, I grabbed a shot of Josh making a fun Josh face (after Josh came over and asked me if I would take a picture of him if he jumped in. I grabbed his shirt collar and told him to never even think of it and told him such a picture would never take place), and then Caleb sat near us. I adjusted my settings as I took a few pictures and got a picture that lightly revealed the surging river behind him and where the blue in his shirt made his eyes just shine (I couldn't wait to show Josh and see what he thought), then I turned at looked the river again. Josh came up just a few minutes later and asked if he could use the camera promising that he would take extra good care of it and be very safe. I looked at him very seriously and told him that I trusted him completely. I did...I had learned and chosen to trust Josh to be the man that he desired to be in God. Trustworthy, reliable, sincere, honest, and someone I could be a real friend to because he was a real friend to me. I knew he would be careful and considerate. I chose to turn away and look down river as he adjusted camera settings. I didn't want him to think I was watching his every move and making sure he was truly being safe with the camera. I trust him. He came over to me and asked me if I had a wider lens. I did not. I had only brought a 28-55mm and a 50mm. I didn't think anything else of it, but he hoped over rocks to get up stream to get the shot he was visualizing. I can only imagine the beautiful shot he framed because Josh was so gifted. Done with his photo he jumped back rock to rock to reach where we all sat. He never made it. I never saw his face again. The parts after this you can read in my previous blog. As hard as I am trying I can't even accurately describe the day. There was so much. We were just enjoying God's beauty. We were enjoying godly fellowship. A beautiful day. It was a really beautiful day. I thought I would never pick up a camera again. I had no desire to do it. It was too painful to think about. I had to go to Texas two weeks after and photograph a graduation ceremony along with family portraits. It was so painful and every shot and every setting reminded me of Josh. I asked myself what would Josh do in this position and I used the settings he had encouraged me to use. I shot in RAW format because Josh had told me to so long ago. The pictures turned out amazing by God's grace and Josh's passionate encouragement. The loss of a camera is nothing. I don't miss the camera. I miss the freedom of grabbing a beautiful shot or view when I am inspired by God's handy work. My friend Hannah lent me her camera for my Texas trip. What a blessing she is. Things are so not important. Life and success are not valued by the things we have. It is people and what we do with things that really matter. I am told I shouldn't think this way, but I hope and pray Josh knows that I valued him more than a mere thing and that I still trust him. God called him home. Giving up a thing to the purpose of God is a blessing. I must admit giving up a person is much more difficult. I am struggling with letting go. I have to fight the what if thoughts and trust God's sovereignty. I am so thankful for the short time I knew Josh. He touched my life and changed it forever. God, Thank You. I don't know how long it will take the pain to ease, but I will always be thankful to have known Josh and had that last day with him.