From Our Interim Pastor

Stephanie Bishop

Dear Fairview ,

Last summer, my dad had just recovered from the cancer surgery he had in the Fall of 2017 (after a summer filled with radiation). The surgery removed all the cancer, but the wound was so expansive that, with complications in the healing process, it would need over a year and half for my father to be up and about and walking in the way he had before any of this occurred. My parents were itching for a vacation after years of being side-lined, raring to go somewhere they had never been before.

I quickly devised a trip to New York City (where I would land a few days earlier and spend some time with my daughter, Annabel), and then the two of us picked up my parents at LaGuardia airport in a compact rental car and headed for Maine, spending time at a few places along the shore.

This summer, I imagine many of you are experiencing this exasperat-ing need for a get-away from it all. This summer, like none other, you may feel the need for that vacation more than ever before. And yet, so many plans have had to be cancelled. Vacations we do take come with new and exhausting planning measures and the need for social distancing which can hinder the warm, fuzzy feelings we often get from time spent away with loved ones.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me grateful for the wonderful vacations I have had in the past – most recently, Maine. Oddly, though, when I think back, as beautiful as the sights were, what I remember most are the memories of the people with whom I spent the time: my parents and my beautiful daughter. I could show you picture after lovely picture of the ocean spray bouncing off the rocks on the shore, the view from the top of the mountain in Acadia National Park, a picturesque cove full of sailboats, an impeccably manicured garden, and – believe it or not – only one lighthouse! But if you ask me to tell you about the trip, my stories would be full of interactions with my loved ones that didn’t really have much to do with the places where we were.

So, I invite you to grieve whatever vacation you are missing this year, but then make some memories anyway. In any way you can – even if it has to be over the phone or the internet. Pull out old photos and walk down memory lane with the folks in them. Laugh until your belly hurts over something that is just as funny now as it was then. And go ahead and plan your next vacation together for next summer.

Only God knows what the future holds, but you have some say in how you experience the present time, as odd and difficult as it might be. Take a walk down memory lane and dream about the future. Let those warm memories and hope for good times ahead wash over you in these balmy summer days ahead.

With Peace and Blessings,