(Written in the wee hours of the morning. I will warn you that this one contains more difficult detail than normal…)

Tonight I walk such a strange tightrope, teetering high over jagged pinnacles to my left and a raging torrent on my right. I could easily lose my balance and careen down into the depths of one or the other.

You see, this is the week that the Department of Justice lab estimates they will be completing their DNA analysis of the specimen we gave them on December 4th, having compared the DNA sequencing with three of Steve’s siblings.

So here I struggle to maintain my balance: on the one hand, I desperately need and want closure. So a clear “positive” result would be a relief. But I sense that this news would come at a price–some hard, hidden terrain not yet visible from up on that tightrope.

Because if they come back with a clear statement that this is definitely Steve’s tissue, then the visual images of how it got high up in the treetops before the wind blew it down to us, and all of the animal activity that would have preceded the birds bringing it up there, threaten to take me to a place I could never imagine–shredding my spirit as they pull me down into the crevasse.

But I have so longed for some kind of resolution–emotionally, practically. The life insurance that Steve so diligently maintained, as well as Social Security benefits we need all require a death certificate, which can’t be issued without clear DNA evidence. So yes, closure is necessary. The heaviest dose of reality is required.

As I inch my way forward along this hard, thin wire, I see that the river to my right looks equally treacherous. If the DOJ says the results are “negative” or “inconclusive” (which wouldn’t be surprising after four months out in the elements), then we will have to rely on our weaker (more difficult to process) specimens for DNA. That, and most likely more searching–hoping that Winter’s cleansing rains up on the mountain have helped to consolidate Steve’s remains so as to present a simpler, less confusing scent profile for the HRD dogs to work.

More planning, time away from home, fundraising, distraction…   All to eventually end up in a very similar situation–perhaps even more painful details coming to light about what happened to Steve’s body once he didn’t need it anymore.

Sometimes the only way out is through. This seems like one of those times.

The only thing that gives me the courage to get up in the morning and set my trembling feet on that cold wire is the sense that God goes before me, behind me and right alongside me…taking my hand, whispering in my ear to keep trusting, keep moving. He’s “got” me.

May you sense his presence in your travels today also…

Grateful for your support all along,

Carrie Morris