Tuesday, August 14, 2012

John Denver Lyrics

My memory of love will be of you.  Is that the title?  My husband is on my mind this morning and the lyrics of John Denver’s songs.  So many of his songs really speak to me… especially this summer when I am working in the Rocky Mountains high.
“When I think of LOVE, I’ll think of you” David Swankie.
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm

And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more

And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Oh, love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain

Like a fire when it's cold outside
Or thunder when it rains

If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you (David Swankie)

Maybe it is impossible to find love again, but I am not even looking.  It is simply beyond my comprehension.  All I know is that David Swankie, in eight days of marriage (all spend in the hospital) fulfilled me more than anyone in my entire life. 
Hospital marriage ceremony May 27, 2001, Everett, WA.
During those days preceding open heart surgery, we talked about how sure we were he would survive as we believed there was a purpose for our meeting, union and marriage. We felt there was “something” we needed to accomplish.
Now, eleven years later I know what that purpose is… for me to be a shining example to others to LIVE, not just exist. Forest Rangers have listened to my story this summer and commented, “You are my new hero!”  Wow, I’ve never been a hero to anyone that I know of.  Would be to hear that from my family members, not strangers.  But if I never hear it from anyone, that is o.k. too, I hear it in my head and my heart and daily say “Thank you David Swankie, for my new life.
-4 years after he died, his insurance gave me new knees
-new knees allowed me to be active again
-being active again allowed me to loose weight
-loosing weight allowed me to have higher adventures (i.e. kayaking 50 states, hiking hours on end, working for the Forest Service – a lifelong dream)
- working for the Forest Service has allowed me to really trim the rest of the fat
- trimming the rest of the fat and reaching my goal weight and fitness level will allow me to… ?????
What?  Who knows!
2009_09_09_gary_port_angeles 025
So, my wish for others, or if I could leave a legacy it would be to leave this message: Never give up. Reach for your dreams. I could not have imaged my life today (in 2012), back there in that hospital in Everett, WA in 2001.  In spite of any nay-sayers (i.e. trolls) who might try to put a shadow on your happiness, keep fighting… you can have anything you can dream.


  1. Exactly what i needed to read this morning. Thank u for sharing your journey. U are an inspiration. Sincerely, ron from canada, eh

  2. You are a wonderful inspiration, and have overcome many obstacles. And one of the most positive people I know, making friends wherever you go. Best wishes for lots of fun in the final 8!

    I'm sure he is watching over you, cheering you on.

    1. Thank you, Judith. I hope he is watching over me... the thought brings a happy smile to my face and warms my heart. He would get such a kick out of all this.

  3. Awesome Char...thanks for sharing about your love of your husband....I wish you could have had him longer but you are sure doing well anyway....
    Yr, friend,

    1. Thanks Bri. I guess the void will always be there but I have happy memories in general. He asked only one thing of me, if he didn't make it, and that was to "go on" and have a life. I am honoring his last request with glee and joy.

  4. the song title is "Perhaps Love" :) he does a version with placido domingo that is great

    1. Oh, I would love to hear that one.

    2. Nemo, I have since listened to that duo... great stuff.

  5. That's a romantic story that I hadn't known before. It sounds like he gave you a great gift.

    1. Yes!!! And because of him I have met a lot of new really great friends, like you two!!!

  6. You go girl...... cc in Cloudcroft, NM.

    Highest temp in July 2011 and again in 2012 was 78F.

    Hope to see you again in Q in Jan-Feb.

    1. Email me who you are... Anonymous. charlene.swankie@gmail.com ... cc is not enough for this old memory. I will be in Q this winter although hope to go kayak the Monterey Bay for part of Jan... then return to Q... so keep in touch.

    2. CC... I know who you are now.... met you in Q... you carry a walking stick and a canvas bag and walk everywhere in town... to listen to music.

  7. Good Luck Duck... YES, he did. I can think of no great gift than what he gave me.

  8. Thank you for that beautiful story. Yours was one of the first 'vandweller' blogs I came across when I decided to do it myself a few months ago, and you have truly been an inspiration, as I am 66 and have a good 80 lbs. to lose myself. I'm making plans to head out next spring - so excited!

    1. BornFamous... thank you. The weight loss will give you a completely different outlook on life too. If I can help in any way, let me know.

    2. Hope you can come to Quartzsite AZ in Jan.2014 to meet other vandwellers.

  9. You are MY American hero !

    Ron Hunter
    Drumheller Alberta, Canada

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. And you are my Canadian hero. Thank you, Ron. And thank you for following along.


Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.