Ishi Pishi

Alright, time to get a little real tonight.


As I said in the last post, I’ve certainly had some shitty days and moments in the last few weeks.  I don’t really see how you can’t when someone tells you that you likely have months to live.  And, you know, someone with a degree and certifications and stuff.  Not just your neighbor.
What do you do when you’re told you have months to live?
I cried.  Hard.
I woke up the next day and was pissed it wasn’t a dream.
I looked at my “to-do” list filled with lengthy projects.  I erased a few things that I am never going to get to.


Then I sat down and thought about my world without me in it.
Really thought about it.
I started thinking about little things, like a check list that one would go through prior to leaving on a trip.  And random thoughts came into my head.
Will the kids talk about my funeral? Will Mary Jo be pissed about having to go through all the stuff on the computer to find pictures she’s been looking for? Will my cat Leo cry for me at night and keep everyone up for a few weeks?  etc..
Of course I thought about heavier stuff too but it was the little stuff that really hit me.


And then I remembered my kayak trip.

I haven’t shared all the details of that trip.  I intend to.  But for now I will share one part (of many) of what’s getting me through the toughest times right now.


Our kayaking experience was whitewater class I and II.  Real stuff.
For a newbie like me it was a bit intimidating at times.  Scary even.
The crew that took us out were amazing and were looking out for us the whole way.  They started us slow and worked us up to the bigger rapids.

The last day of the week long trip included an optional solid class III rapid called “Ishi Pishi”.  It was after this big bend in the river.
That morning everyone started talking about it.  I think it was supposed to be a surprise, but people from prior trips had leaked it so some people already knew and started telling the rest of us. Once the conversation went that way my stomach started to turn.  This wouldn’t be happening for at least 7 hours and I could already feel my breakfast deciding if it wanted to stay.

It was a beautiful day full of fun kayaking.  But always in the back of my mind was Ishi Pishi.  “When was it going to be?” “How fast was it?” “Are they going to tell us before we get there?”  On and on and on in my head.  Nagging.
We eventually got to the bend in the river.  Our guide told us where we were, what to expect, how to do it and asked who was going.

I went.
It was awesome.
And that was that.

ALL of that worrying.  For nothing, really.


That’s me, rockin’ Ishi Pishi.

Later that night we talked about our experiences of the day and I shared that I got so wrapped up in Ishi Pishi that I forgot to enjoy the river.
It was flowing and I was going down it no matter what.  I could fight against it, but it’s much easier to just go with it.  It also gives you the opportunity to look around. To not only appreciate the view but the company you have with you.

And this is what I would’ve missed if I hadn’t remembered to enjoy the river:


One of the guides shared that Ishi Pishi is named by the Karok Indians and means “end of the trail”.   I found that very fitting.

It’s a very weird space to be in right now.  I’m trying my best to just live in the present and enjoy every day, but I can’t just ignore that the end of my river may have come up way shorter than I expected.  The best I can do is try to process all of this with the least amount of doom and gloom as I can.  I need to remember to just enjoy the river.

I decided last week that I needed a day to take off and deal.  So I am.
I’m taking the day on Wednesday and going to Disneyland.  If I have to sort out all of this heavy shit, why not do it at the happiest place on Earth?

3 thoughts on “Ishi Pishi

  1. Heather…always remember, we are here to learn and believe. I believe that you have learned. Our faith tells us that this is not the end. We are the ones that will be left behind with you watching and saying “hey, I see everything that you are doing…you gotta see what’s next.” Christ said to us that He went before us to prepare a place for us in God’s House with many mansions.” I pray that I can be as lucky as you to know when the end is near for me, you get to prepare spiritually, some of us don’t. I pray that whenever God calls me, I can dance out with the grace and courage that you have shown to all of us. Your spirit is strong…at some point the flesh will become weak, but you will be forever. Christ promises us eternal life…this is just a stop sign…or rather a yellow light for you that you accelerate through before it turns red. I love you Heather! We all do! ❤

  2. Heather…Love you so much!!! I have sent a surprise by e-mail. I may have some difficulty getting the larger file to you, but I hope it will bring a smile. Let’s just say its a comedy concert that is fresh off the ummm…hidden telephone voice recorder. Big hugs!!!

    Ken and Kristi and I would like to come visit, we’ll coordinate with other visitors, but know that I will see you again! That’s actually a very touching Carrie Underwood song, brace yourself if you listen to it…but I believe it. I love you and have deeply missed you since our last visit. But I will see you again. Big Huge Hugs! Love ya.

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