It's quite timely that I am able to post this update today, being Easter Sunday, and also being the "one-week anniversary" of my husband and me finding that poor young man in the trailer parking/ horse staging area of Coon Bluff. Timely because it is Easter Sunday, and we are reminded of Christ rising to Heaven after paying for our sins.
We did go yesterday to ride at our favorite place, and we did park in the lot we normally park in. We did not, however, park under the tree as we "used" to do. Maybe in time we will resume "our spot," or what we and our friends considered "our spot." I'm not exactly sure why, but we parked there almost every weekend since November of 2012. I guess partly it made it easy for our friends to find us when they were hiking nearby.
Anyway, we parked in a different spot, but I admit, my heart felt heavy and I found myself looking over to where "Austin" had left this world.
Yes, "Austin" was the young man's name we were told yesterday, and he was only 19 years old. His family had reported him missing, but he wasn't being "looked for" yet, as it hadn't been 24 hours since he had been last seen. Perhaps if that "rule" was not in existence, Austin would have/could have been located prior........but, then again, we won't ever know for sure.
We weren't able to be given any more information, but we did tell the authorities they have our permission to pass our names and phone number along to the family should they ask sometime.
David and I are working on a memorial to take out to Austin's "place of departure" this morning. We hope and pray the family will find at least some comfort to know that during his last moments on this earth, he was not "alone" and that he is being prayed for, as are they.
I doubt that we'll ever be able to go out there again and not "remember" the overwhelming sadness we felt when we found Austin, but I do hope that feeling will lessen in time, and that we can replace those feelings with joy knowing Austin is in a better place, and is most definitely not alone.
God bless you, Austin; we know you are now rejoicing in Heaven, and that you are able to "Rest In Peace."
Here are photos of the Memorial Cross we put up for dear Austin today out at Coon Bluff: