Mom in law took me to the train station in Merced on the morning of Thursday, June 6. Little did I know that my opinion of Amtrak would soon go down the hole. I waited five hours once I got to Sacramento. On the platform. When the train finally arrived I was already hot and grimy and the trip hadn’t even begun. I found a seat and spent Friday and Saturday on the train. The scenery going through the mountains was absolutely worth the wait. When the train went through Nebraska and Iowa I got to see the awful flooding happening there. The railroad tracks went right on a path through the water, maybe a foot above the water. I didnt know if we’d make it or not. I got to Chicago 7 hours late, so missed my train into Kalamazoo. Instead, the 10 of us going into Michigan were forced onto this “party bus” where bachelor parties are held. Yes. Tinted windows and big speakers and leather seats and a mini bar. Well we 10 smashed in there literally knee to knee and shoulders touching with all of everyone’s luggage and two drivers who weren’t sure “whose stop was first ” which made us all insecure. It was the coolest ride ever, people wise. We had an older lady who was a lawyer with her mom, a lady electrician from Somalia originally, an older couple, a guy who was a genius, a corporate high roller, and a couple other random people. We had a lively intelligent discussion about religion, travel, billionaires, and con men and criminals of the past. It was so fun. This random group of people just shoved together. I loved it. Mom and Madi picked me up and we helped a lady with some car issues and then headed home.

Tuesday renae, mom, madi and I drove to PJ Hoffmaster and spent the day on the lake. It’s not really warm here at all yet, since I’ve been here anyways, but it was sunny and the sand and waves hadn’t changed much but the water was 50*. It was beautiful.

Wednesday my favorite Morgan flew into Detroit so mom, madi, and I went and picked him up. Dillons met us at this amazing cajun southern place in Owosso called Lula’s. Honestly the best chicken and waffle ever. The waffle was infused with vanilla and cinnamon and had maple syrup on it so if someone could make that for me in California that’d be nice.

Thursday we started the chore of going through moms garage. Most of it is school stuff and things like that but we kids each had a box mom had stored for us from our school years and our old baby clothes and different things. It was quite funny reading old school essays and reminiscing about those days. I am embarrassed honestly. So we organized and sorted and got rid of most stuff because finally you cant keep everything. Then we had to go through all of Dads things. That was difficult. When we moved from Kansas to Michigan, we’d put all of dads stuff in boxes and didnt go through it until now so there was sadness for us to finally go through it. All of his shirts and his special fishing shirt and swim trunks that he wore when we went fishing in Mexico and his loafer shoes he wore to grill literally every day. He collected vintage tennis rackets and vintage hockey/goalie gear and vintage baseball bats. Then we found his wallet and the clothes he was wearing the night before he died and I just sniffed all his shirts and wished i could somehow smell him but he is gone from them. It makes me so sad. We got it sorted and each took what we wanted. I took a couple of Dads Sublette EMS shirts and a shirt that was my favorite on him. Since we’ve gone through those boxes, I’ve had just awful nightmares every night so subconsciously must be dealing with it again. Its real folks.

And then I think of the Duecks at Westlock and the Millers at Swan and the people involved there that I love and it’s hard to know that they have a journey now too. I have lost my dad, but I have not lost a close friend, or a daughter, or a sibling, and that must be equally as awful. Dont forget those families. Pray for them because you never know what small or big thing your prayer may help. The battle is never really over with grief. There were the well meaning people who held my hand and said “it’s been a year dear. Dont you think you should have dealt with it more by now?” I think it was people’s prayers that stopped me from totally losing my marbles on those people. And the days you think will be normal are the days you hear your dads favorite song, or see someone who kind of looks like them that you want to go up to and hug in Target, just so life seems ok again. Those little times hit the hardest. Just remember those sad hearted families who have lost someone very special.

Thursday evening Mom went to Battle Creek and picked up Grandma Jul from the train!

One night we went to Ross and Nats for supper with the Breakfast Club and sat around the fire. Saturday we went to Grand Rapids shopping at Cabelas. Sunday was Fathers Day of course, and we called Wynn&Katie’s wedding in. Then we took Morgan back to the plane Sunday afternoon and Grandma wanted to eat at Cracker Barrel on the way home so we did. Morgan is going home to hike with Jalen for a week on the Pacific Crest Trail. Tuesday us, grandma and Nae went to Shipshewana Indiana to shop for renae fabric for her mission dresses and also to go to the flea market. Shipshe is very interesting with lots of different types of amish and Mennonite people everywhere. I cant say it was the coolest place but it was interesting yes. One day we stopped at church and visited dads grave too.

Grandma Jul left this morning on the train and it’s way too soon. I love being all of us together here! I fly home Saturday so more updating then since well be getting packed and ready to leave for Honduras! Super excited! Have a good week☆


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