I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Half Moon Lake

For the past 30 years I have had the privilege of attending the Kirton family campout. It’s held every year at Half Moon Lake in Wyoming. My in-laws are great! Richard has 3 brothers and 4 sisters, so it is a really BIG party.
I have found in the past that going really isn’t an option.
Everyone goes, no matter what.
I have gone 8 months pregnant, with a 7 week old baby, and with a little girl who has been sick as she battled leukemia at different times for 8 years of her life. We camp in a beautiful pine and quaky covered campground which sits on the most beautiful lake. In the morning and in the evening, without fail, the lake is glass. You can literally see the reflection of the surrounding mountains and the sky in the lake, perfect for morning or late night skiing or wakeboarding. Every evening we all gather around the campfire to share laughs and sometimes tears. We lay on the sandy beach late at night enjoying the fabulous stars and the Milky Way. We stay until each has received their own falling star. We ride four wheelers, motorcycles, we fish and go hiking. We have encountered, on several occasions, mountain lions and bears. It is a family trip that we talk of and prepare for all year.
Kristen also loved to go camping. She would often start making her stack of things to pack weeks in advance. She looked forward to this trip as much as anyone.

This year was to be different. We knew Kristen would be too sick to attend. Kristen and I would stay home as well as Katy and her family as her baby was due July 26th. . Richard would go for a few days and get things set up for our other children,
then he would come back home to be with Kristen and I.

Things change. With Kristen passing much sooner that we had expected and Katy having her baby early, the question arose, now what? I knew it was too soon for me to leave home. I didn’t feel ready. I felt as though I would be abandoning Kristen if I went. Katy didn’t want to take a 2 week old baby camping.

I’m not sure how it happened but we all ended up going. Not for the whole week but for a few days. It is 250 miles from our home. Rich and I went up on Thursday night. He brought me back home Friday morning. We were going to stay home for a few days and then if I was feeling up to it we would go back. It seems that once I got back home I realized that It wasn’t fair to my other children, especially my 16 year old son, that I was home, basically feeling sorry for myself. Whenever my children seem to be acting selfish I always say, 
“Life isn’t about you.”
Now it was time I took my own advice.
Richard and I went back to Wyoming Saturday. We traveled 750 miles in just 2 days. Once I got back to camp and got settled I soon realized that this was actually a good thing for my family and for me. I had the chance to sit on the side of one of Kristen’s favorite lakes and read and just think. I read 2 books in just a couple of days. One of the books was about grieving and I actually learned a lot. I was able so sit and ponder things and set some goals for myself. I still cried often as everything there reminded me of Kristen. You can tell from the previous post that I did have a little time on my hands and took up
painting some rocks and writing in the sand.
Later in the week all of my children and their families arrived.
It was sad as everyone was there except Kristen.
Early one morning Richard went for a walk and came back and said that it felt like
Kristen was walking with him. 
She probably was.
I am including lots of pictures of my children, my grandchildren and a few of the in-laws. The last few pictures are of Kristen enjoying herself at the lake the past few years.




Leah and Tony Beasley said...

I am new to your blog, and it is very sad to start reading it at this point. I wish I had read it a few months ago. I am very sorry for your loss. Me and my husband just adopted 3 babies from the Ukriane that all have downs. One of them has a lot of issues at this point. We do not know yet what is wrong, but we have a doctor that doesnt really care I think. We are trying to find another doctor fast!! I think you have a lovely family and your camping trip sounds like such a fun tradition!! Thanks for writting!

Kristin said...

This is the first time I have seen pictures of Kristen with long hair. She is truly a beautiful angel. I love the rocks surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and water.

Rochelle said...

I am thankful that you were able to go on the trip and continue this family tradition.
I am sure Kristen was smiling down on you and walking right beside you. I know that all the 1st of everything are especially difficult.
We continue to pray for you all.

Cindy said...

Such sweet pictures. I'm glad you had time to reflect and remember Kristen in such a beautiful place.

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Brighton said...

I'm glad you went back- I think you needed it more than you knew.


Michele said...

"Life isn't about you". I love that line and I commend you for getting out there and taking your own advice. While I know your heart was aching without your sweet girl, obviously that special place for you was where you needed to be at the time. You will be greatful, someday, I think, that you went instead of staying home, and I am sure your family is glad to have had the time together. What a beautiful place to think and remember a beautiful girl.

Pam said...

I am so glad you were able to go to that beautiful place and find rest. I have worried so for your other children. Although it must be so difficult to carry on, they need you. You are an amazing mom. You all seem to be an incredible family and I pray that God will continue to richly bless you.

JennyH said...

That looks beautiful. What a great tradition. Too bad Kristen wasn't there but I am glad you went.

Love the pictures.

Kristi said...

I am so glad you went! I know it's so hard to just GET yourself there. But once you are there, then it is better. And your right Kristen is with you all, always! Praying for healing for you all. You have a wonderful, beautiful family!

Amy L said...

I love all of your family pictures and thank you for sharing the ones of Kristen. She has such a beautiful smile! I think of her everyday and pray for you. Hugs and prayers,

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