Saturday, October 15, 2011

There is a ladder up from the abyss

Dear friends,

I know all of you have been very concerned about our family, and especially our son Jaye. I'm here to update you. Since my last post, there has been tremendous improvement. Jaye (and Kelly, too) has been responding to therapy in a positive way. He is laughing a little when he talks about Lauren, remembering good times with her, and is able to think about her in a way that he wasn't before. Of course, the sadness and heartache will never completely go away, but that he is able to talk about her without breaking down is a huge step in his healing. I'm not naive; I know there are times when he is alone that he relapses, but now he is able to pull himself out of it relatively quickly. I also believe that he has become more accepting of the fact that they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he had no control over that.

We felt confident enough in his recovery, that we were able to take our planned camping trip to northern Michigan to see the beautiful fall color, and it has been spectacular. This is our first trip here, but I know it won't be our last. We've fallen in love with the Lake Leelanau region and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We made our plans months ago, but we were right on in the timing for peak color.

I want to apologize for my lack of attention to your blogs, especially considering how wonderful you all have been to me. You are good and loyal friends. I will get back to them someday. I hope it won't be long. I will have a lot more time as the cold weather sets in and keeps me indoors. I will leave you with a little of the beauty of northern Michigan in autumn.

Love, Susan

The view from our campsite at Lake Leelanau RV Park.

Young turkeys crossing the road. They joined a huge flock of thirty or more.

One of the many vineyards in the area...Crooked Maple Vineyard.

The birch trees are everywhere, and the bark is outstanding against the fall color.

From atop Sleeping Bear Dunes, looking out to Big Glen Lake.

And, of course, you know this is a milkweed pod. It's hard to believe this sand could support the diverse vegetation.

From atop Sleeping Bear Dunes, looking toward Betsie Point in Lake Michigan. It is a 450-ft. drop to the water.

No explanation needed.

An inlet in Omena, on Grand Traverse Bay.

A funky little airport/park, where the airstrip is grass, and there is no hangar, only tie-downs.

At Grand Traverse Lighthouse...the wind was 50 mph, and the waves were fast and furious.

Nearly big enough for surfing, but kinda scary.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse. The flag was flying half-mast to honor National Fallen Firefighters.

Historic Fishtown in Leland, Michigan

Again, Historic Fishtown

Waves breaking on the seawall in Leland, Michigan