As I find a parking space, I spy a very cute girl getting some things out of the trunk of her car. My hope that she's going on this hike is answered, and shortly thereafter I meet Aimee Richmond.
Through some clever manuevering, I manage to make sure we're in the same carpool, and I sit next to her in the backseat, attempting to get to know her. She's friendly, though maybe slightly guarded. During the hike, I stay with her, chatting with her as the day goes on. At the top, there are indeed gorgeous views, and I take a number of photos. But my attention never wanders far from this girl I've met.
Within eight days, I take her on our first date. Within a few months, I know I love her, and I tell her so. Within two and half years, I marry her, and I say these words:
"Til death do us part."
We "parted" on December 18, 2011.
|A photo of Mt. Rainier I took from Mt. |
Pilchuck I took on 10/23/2003. I didn't
feel like I knew Aimee well enough to
take a picture of her that day, but I
wish I had.
Her wishes actually spelled out that she wanted her ashes scattered at the ocean. But she loved the mountains, and as Donna ponted out, she didn't know whe she wrote that that she was going to die in the ocean. Scattering them on the mountain that brought us together just seemed appropriate.
Although this has been my plan since shortly after Aimee's death, the thought of actually 'letting go' of Aimee is tough. During separate conversations with both Donna and Justin, we all expressed that there is something 'final' about that act, even though obviously Aimee's death was pretty final on December 18.
In my mind's eye, I've tried to imagine the actual act of scattering what's left of Aimee's physical body. It's surreal and heartbreaking at the same time.
A number of years ago, I went skydiving, despite a very keen fear of heights. At the moment of truth, I was terrified, and I had no idea how I was going to make myself actually jump out of that plane some 13,000 feet above the ground. Yet I did it. I sense that this experience will be much the same in that regard. I have no idea how I will make myself actually empty that box of ashes on top of that mountain.
But somehow, I will do it. I will let go of Aimee.