I'm getting used to my new name: Jennifer Sharp.
And there are things I miss, things I long for and things I said good bye to when I decided to make the change.
An identity, a connection to someone, a previous life.
Triplett was my married name. Ryan and I met when we were teenagers. We grew up together, navigating through life and experiencing more than most. Mountains, rocks, trees, hikes, wandering the western United States, National parks, getting stuck on 7,000 foot granite faces, outdoor playgrounds... a life I miss when I see photos of climbers with their torn skin and strong hands.
To love someone that much and then lose them was a gift I was given. One that cut a deep, deep scar. One that made me see the true beauty in life and appreciate more, love more, smile more.
I embrace my new name, my new loving husband, my new life. My passions are still strong, though evolved from before.
Last week I ventured into the mountains with the puppies in the backseat of the Subaru. I left in the afternoon as big snow flakes covered the road. I escaped the Denver metro area an hour before it shut down, before white snow encased it. The roads looked foreign - unrecognizable from the storm. The freeway shut near Copper Mountain and traffic diverted through Leadville. I sensed danger, I could feel the mountains reclaiming their passes. The Subaru fishtailed down a slick road, causing mild alarm and yet I drove on until I couldn't anymore. Traffic stopped.
And it reminded me of a time when I was by myself. When I had to forge my own way. When I rediscovered my own identity. In some strange way, I loved every minute of it. I needed to feel, I needed to process, I needed to be alone in the middle of a blizzard on a 11,000' mountain pass.
I called Benjamin to let him know I was alright. He was thankful to hear from me as he had seen photos of the jack knifed semi trailer that blocked west-bound lanes. I was more than alright - I felt alive.
Ryan's dad passed a little over a month ago. The original Triplett. He death was painful and somewhat quick. He died within a few months of his diagnosis. I went to his memorial service last weekend and gave a heart felt eulogy. He was like a father to me. And I miss him.
Standing in the middle of the storm made me shout, "IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT?!?"
And I wonder if the storm was, in its own way, screaming back at me, "YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!"
So then I played the next four days in its snow covered mountains. They're good for the soul, you know.