We found ourselves at the base of the mountain looking up in awe at its majesty and feeling more than a bit overwhelmed in the relation of its scale to ours. Our goal would be to work our way upwards, somehow, some way. We were two innocent kids who had no idea what we were doing or how we were supposed to approach our task. We were totally unprepared for the challenge that would lie ahead and there was no way we could have imagined the financial, emotional, physical, and relational costs that the journey would have on us. It seemed to us that even though we had no clue to what we were about to embark on, that our bond would see us through. We would need no sherpa or outside strength to help us in our ascent. This was not a decision made out of wisdom. The path that we followed was not something that we went down as a result of lengthy planning and discussion. This would prove to be a fatal mistake, but it was a mistake that anyone but the two of us could have predicted with certainty. We knew that many folks had been down this same road that we now faced. We knew that many had failed or fallen by the wayside and were lost. Enshrouded in our giddiness and naivety we pressed on, totally oblivious of our certain fate.
The fateful journey began some 12 years ago. As I write these words, I can only shake my head at how utter and complete our failure was. I cannot even begin to relate to you how much our innocence and our neglect in planning and communicating doomed any chance that we had to scale that rocky tor together. I now sit amongst the rubble at the bottom of the mountain once more, but this time alone. I am looking up with new-found respect, appreciation, and understanding, but with the lingering wounds of disappointment and regret. I don't know what lies ahead for me, but somehow I hope that I will have one last opportunity to start up its sheer slope before I have to go.