About That Header Photo…

by Laura

You see that lovely scene above? That’s my happy place. It’s a high mountain meadow, roughly 10,000 feet above sea level, near Fairplay, Colorado. It’s where I brought my mother eight years ago, when she lost her own mom. It’s where I took my husband after he lost his father. It’s where I took my Mother in Law, too, although I secretly hated sharing it with her. Just a little too remote for the hoards of weekend leaf peepers, it is the very best place to listen to the wind whistle past quaking aspens. It is quiet with long views. High above the plains and the bustle of Denver, nestled between mountain passes, it’s a place that has always brought me comfort, and I would be there right now if it weren’t for death.

In 2009, my father’s dad died of a massive heart attack. We were living in Denver. His father lived in Rochester, NY. They say there are certain things you really shouldn’t do in the months that follow a profound loss, and I think my husband did all of them, from getting a tattoo to changing jobs to moving to a different state. Three months later we moved to Seattle, Washington. Three months after that, I was pregnant, and six months after that, we found out my mom had cancer. Early in 2011, we moved to Philadelphia, PA to be closer to my mother, and that’s where I am today. I never liked it here, and now I like it less. But here I am with a PA driver’s license I finally broke down and got, and a PA license plate that we tried like hell to avoid getting until it became impossible not to. Where I’m NOT is my happy place, the place I take people when they need to be sad and take in the big picture.