Coping with 19

Everyone deals with stuff in their own way. This holds true for the billions of billions throughout the world.

One of the best ways that I deal with stuff, stress, challenges, strife, etc., is to hike the beautiful Utah trails and mountains that surround me.

Yesterday was a big day. My youngest two children (twins) were graduating from high school in the evening. Naturally, I am proud of them and thrilled for them. This was quite an accomplishment as they have been through some challenges of their own throughout their years. We were celebrating them and their older sister who graduated from college a few weeks earlier.

Me with the high school graduate twins and my college grad daughter.

I was also realizing that this was one of those parenting milestones where you realize all of your children are now in the “adult” world. I have seven living children, and they now all reside in this world.

It is a bittersweet bliss.

I began the days with all of those thought and emotions. When I heard the news about what happened at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX, I was shaken. That is horrific news regardless of what was going on in my personal life as a father.

I was mad as hell for a short while. How dare someone do this on any day. How dare them do this on the day my girls were graduating.

I quickly realized this level of thinking was unproductive. So I resorted to my “go to” response, and I hit the trail. I didn’t go very far because I was distracted, in a good way, by the wildflowers and scenery. I spent about an hour taking snaps and then realized I had to get back home and prepare for my daughters’ graduation ceremony.

The rest of the day was focused on the graduation and family time after.

After everyone had left, I went into my office to shut it down for the night when I saw my camera on my desk. I remembered that I still had all of the flower pix to look at.

It was already late (for me). I knew if I looked at the pix, I would start editing them.

Yep, that is EXACTLY what happened!

When done, I was bleary eyed and tired. I chose not to post anything that late and I went to bed. When I got back from the gym this morning and had listed to the news during my workout, I learned that there were 19 children murdered at the school.

Before going up to shower, I sat down at my desk and saw all the pictures I had edited the night before. I uploaded them to Facebook to post them and when I did, I noticed that there happened to be 19 of them.

Before posting them, I got distracted by a bird in the back yard that keeps jumping up and hit a window to our sunroom. While I was outside, I remembered that I needed to do a quick watering of my tomato plants and flowers.

While watering I noticed that a whole bunch of my over 100 poppies had blossomed overnight. Yesterday there were 5 blossoms. When I counted them today, I noticed there were 19 of them. I realize this is just coincidence, but it was a very weird coincidence…again.

The poppies in my backyard this morning.. I tried to show all 19 in one shot but couldn’t get them all as they are spread out.

None of these photos make a difference in the lives of the slain children and adults. I realize that. However, it is simply a way to remind myself that there is still beauty here on this Earth.

Both things can and do exist everyday: good and bad.

I just needed a little reminder of the good.

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