On July 3rd my husband and I went on our ALMOST annual motorcycle ride to the mountains of North Carolina. We didn’t go last year. We made the 6 hour or so drive to Weaverville, NC (right next to Asheville) and stayed at a very nice bed and breakfast. Our plans were to ride as far on The Blue Ridge Parkway as we could north one day, and as far as we could south the next day to get back by supper time and that’s what we did.
My husband and I have ridden The Blue Ridge Parkway many times and have been on the whole 400 and so miles of it on our motorcycle since 2002. We have also taken our girls with us before we got the motorcycle (and a few times after we got the motorcycle and left it behind) and took our girls on camping trips. We have done so many things in the area of The Great Smoky Mountains. There is so much to do plus breathtaking scenery. We love the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Chimney Rock, Maggie Valley, waterfalls, two different caves in TN, and the list goes on.
So we decided that even though we are probably the saddest people on earth, we would go ride the Parkway to try to get away from home and this unending pain that stalks us.
Though we had a good time, my mind was thinking of Kaitlyn every single minute continuously. In every mountain, valley, flower, rock, stream, tree, campground, and grassy field I thought of Kaitlyn. I thought of Kaitlyn as we passed the place where we mined for gemstones at a mining place. I still have the stones she mined. Some of them surround her memorial sign in her memorial flower garden here at home.
I thought of her as we passed Chimney Rock and remembering the time when we took both our girls up the mountain and went on every single trail there. I remembered her when we passed Cherokee and remembered the camping trip there with her. I thought of her as we passed through little towns and all the activities and fun things we did with her and her sister.
She was everywhere. She was on the lips of me and my husband as we lay on the bed of the bed and breakfast and talked about her for an hour, still wondering how this nightmare could be real. How could this have happened to our wonderful child?
She was in all the flowers I saw in the mountains that just so happened to be mainly purple. Our room also had purple pictures of flowers on the wall and a flower arrangement. I thought of her at each breakfast down stairs every morning that started out with a bowl of fruit….all of the fruit that Kaitlyn loved; cantaloupes, strawberries, blueberries and orange. Every morning I would tell Allyn, “Kaitlyn would have loved this.”
Even the few things that Kaitlyn never had anything to do with that we did, I STILL thought of her.
All the memories I have of Kaitlyn are attached to the most horrendous pain. But if memories are all that I have left, which is, in fact, all I have left, I will take the pain for as long as I can. Her memories are too precious to try to let go.
Sometimes I feel like there is a magnetic field surrounding me, just as the earth has surrounding it. However, instead of protecting me from anything, like the earth’s magnetic field protects it from solar winds; I feel like my magnetic field prevents all the happiness that surrounds me that is trying to reach me from getting to me. It deflects happiness and won’t let it in.
Sometimes at certain areas of the earth, the solar wind hits our magnetic field with charged particles and creates a beautiful display of colors called the aurora borealis. It’s beautiful with so many colors. The aurora borealis of my world, works like our earth’s aurora. The colors are my Kaitlyn…..showing all that was beautiful and all of her future that will never be and will never reach me again on this earth. Like earth’s aurora, it can be seen but never touched.
Below: Old picture of Allyn and Kaitlyn mining for gemstones in the mountains. She was 12.
Below: Kaitlyn, Stephanie and Allyn in the mountains years ago.