My husband and I just took a 17 day vacation to my childhood home in Ohio. While there, Kirk played in a three day member guest golf tournament with his brother Scott, brother-in-law Doug and friend Brian.
The first week was a whirlwind of family gatherings, shopping and relaxing by the pool.
The second week, my Mom and I attended the Ohio State Fair, went to a concert on the river and watched Fire on the Water. We went to the small town of Utica for peaches, had dinner and lunch at several new restaurants, visited with every family member in town and attended Sunday church services.
It was a lovely, typical vacation spent at the home of my youth.
Halfway through, things changed. I was reading the paper and saw that a classmate had died. I’d met up with her recently at a reunion of sorts and she was smiling and laughing with the rest of us. Her demise had been quick and heartbreaking.
Once again, I was hit with the reality that the time we have on earth is fleeting. I was happy I had seen her in May, but wondered how someone could be there one minute and gone the next. As I was dealing with this unexpected loss the news came that we had lost a family member in a very tragic way.
Both were around my same age. Both enjoyed life and were loved by their families.
So, I question. Sitting in the chair at the service for my family member, I kept looking around, wondering what we were doing here. How could we lose someone so young?
I didn’t question when my 99 year old Grandmother passed. She’d survived breast cancer and lived with diabetes. Her last months were spent in a nursing home and she hated lying in a bed hooked up to machines. I understand that.
But the shock of these two losses still haunts me.
It makes me want to spend a little more time with family. Doing things I love. Write a little more. Garden a little more. Buy that Jeep I want, no matter how impractical. Take those trips, walk the dog, hug everyone. Stop spending my time worrying about things I can’t change and putting time into things I can. Say yes instead of no. Yes, I will go to that concert, even though I hate crowds. Yes, I will meet you for lunch or dinner even though I don’t feel like going out.
If I see someone that needs help and think I should step up and help them, instead of waiting for someone else to step up, I will move. I will be a better me. Patient with my family and friends and letting all the insignificant disputes fall by the wayside.
I want to celebrate this life and hope that someday, someone will say, “She lived a splendid life and had no regrets.”