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Almost a Year Later...

As I look out towards the Sea of Cortez, I am reminded of the times spent walking on the beaches in Mexico over the past 29 years.  The water rises and recedes, just like the events in our lives; nothing stays the same. Our hearts are full one moment, empty the next.  However, our God is the same; He cares for us deeply, shares our pain, and rejoices when we look to Him for comfort.  He is the great healer and is constantly at our side, holding us by His right hand.  

Months have passed since I have written on CaringBridge; Carl left us on January 23, 2013, and we have continued to miss him deeply.  We talk about him often, and wonder what he has been doing the past year! Is he still designing ponds in someone’s back yard or conducting a heavenly chorale?!

This past year, 2013, has held surprises, joys, frustrations, delights, and sorrows; the emotions often run deeply – laughter and tears are quick to surface!  Lynée has just completed a large photo book of Carl’s life; what a treasure and a beautiful remembrance of who he was professionally, and most importantly, of his personal commitment to his family and friends.

My goals the past months have been to simplify my life and live in the present moment; this is easier said than done!  Carl loved large creative projects, did them well, and maintained them with excellence! Greg, Lynée, Matthew, and the grandkids have been helping me with the houses, the yards, the cars, and the other practical aspects of daily living!  My helpful neighbors have gotten in the mix also, with their tractor/snow shoveling driveway help as well as the fixings of sprinklers and draining of ponds!

At the end of July, I enjoyed a long weekend in the mountains with Lynée and family; we drove to Crested Butte, CO, where we joined our Robinson family friends in seeing Greg sing a hilarious version of the Barber of Seville!  In September, Lynée and I flew to lovely San Francisco for a few days of sightseeing, and then drove to Carmel to hear Greg’s first Don Giovanni performance. 

In September, I was asked by the Union Colony Civic Center 25th anniversary committee to give a speech at the anniversary ceremony about our family’s connection to this awesome community center.  Over the last 25 years, Carl, Greg, Lynée, and I have performed on that stage many times.  I told the audience a few personal stories and they laughed right along with me!  Because of many positive comments I received by audience members, maybe in my next life, I’ll be a stand-up comedian!

This fall, I came back to sing with the Greeley Chorale and reveled in the music that filled my soul during the rehearsals and final performance in October.  The John Rutter Requiem was very moving to me; the director also had chosen several pieces of music that Carl had directed over the past years.

In November, I flew to Quito, Ecuador, to spend 12 days.  I heard Greg sing his first role in the opera Faust, and met his Ecuadorian girlfriend, Inti, and her family.  Quito is a lovely city, filled with energy and color.  Greg and I also spent two days in the town of Baños, three hours away by bus, hiking in the Andes Mountains to see the amazing waterfalls and ride the cable cars. Greg and I arrived back in Colorado just in time to celebrate our traditional Thanksgiving with our Robinson clan, play our beloved turkey bowl football game, and eat a luscious turkey dinner at Lyneé’s house.

Two weeks later, I packed the suitcase again to leave for La Paz, Mexico, where we have spent much time over the last three years.  Greg joined me at the San Jose del Cabo airport, and we boarded the shuttle for La Paz, three hours away.  Lynée, Matthew, and the four grandkids came a few days later.  The following several weeks were spent enjoying and socializing with our friends, singing as a family at our Christmas Eve service at one of the marinas, carrying out our Christmas Day traditions of breaking the piñata, reading the Christmas story, lighting the candles in our yule log, offering words of thanksgiving, and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus around His birthday cake.  We also found time to swim with the whale sharks, go kayaking, watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, spend time at the horse ranch visiting with our missionary friends, the Gatto’s, and relax in the sun and surf in both La Paz and Los Cabos.  These family gatherings sustain me and add much joy as I go along in my daily life with my Lord. 

Some of you continue to check this CaringBridge site from time to time, and I am grateful for your continued support, love, and prayers over the past year and a half since we, as a family, began this difficult journey.  Happy New Year to all of you! Hold your family and friends close to your heart and continue to tell them that you love them!  Let us all go forward with hope, joy, faith, love, and peace in this new year – 2014!

- Marilyn