EEEKKKKKK! NO! We CAN'T talk about THAT!
Now I don't consciously carry the thought of death and dying around with me 24/7 but it's been a rather odd couple of weeks where the subject has tapped my shoulder more than once.
This week a year ago I truly thought my mom was headed for the Great Beyond after a serious car accident and of course the annivesary of that day had my mind wandering back in time and how shocking the thought of her not "being here" was, even though she was 81 years-old at the time and had lived a long fulfilling life. As most of you know she dodged the bullet and fully recovered.
I had a personal episode this week that awakened a demon or two and the first thing I wanted to do was hug my puppy, who of course crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in January. The unconditional puppy love that had been within arms-reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 13 years was no longer there. That was a devastating awareness to be reminded of AGAIN. After 6 months I still look for him on the couch or see his shadow out of the corner of my eye when I least expect it. The tears come as I type and I don't believe I shall ever use them all up, even if I live to be 100.
Recently a cousin a year older than I had a heart attack and unexpectedly passed away. Even though we weren't close he's the 2nd cousin to pass (both male and both in their early 60's) in the last 3 years. A reality check as my generation slips into the twilight zone of too young to die but old enough to have made their mark on the world.
Then there was the grave of the young pioneer woman we visited last week as we took a day trip that followed the Oregon Trail through the Wyoming Range Mountains. She died in childbirth, leaving a husband and 6 other children behind. A week later the newborn passed also. Her grave is beneath a tall, stately pine that still stands after more than 150 years of standing sentinel over her earthly resting place. It is a take-your-breath-away open grassy meadow with 360 degree mountain views. She must have been Loved Mighty for a 36-wagon wagon train to halt their journey and put such thought, time and effort into honoring her. Her husband and surviving children went on to lead long lives in the western frontier they sacrificed so much to get to.
Twice last week I had campers question me about our full-time RVer nomad lifestyle and how we came to the decision to "make the change" from traditional to crazy. Actually, we get asked that question often from those who toy with the idea but find it impossible to step out of their lifelong lifestyles that they have come to believe guarantee safety and immortality.
I imagine our choice to live outside the box, or should I say live inside the box with wheels (LOL), was based on the exact same emotions, wants and needs that the folks who packed up all their possessions into a prairie schooner and headed off into the sunset, burying their loved ones along the way, based their decisions on.
Times have changed, and yet have not.
After briefly explaining how we made the transition as best I could, in 1000 words or less, to the campers last week, the thought occurred to me that we're all going to die anyway so why not go after that which calls us?
Why is it so difficult to take a leap of faith into the foggy depths of the unfamiliar?
Do we think if we surround ourselves with the familiar we will not be required to make that final leap into whatever awaits us after this earthly life?
That we get a "Live Forever" pass?
I think not....
Kind of like not fulfilling a lifelong dream of sailing the world because you've been taught the world is flat, you'll fall off the edge and parish. Imagine the courage it took to prove that belief was a scam!
We all end up the same regardless of the quantity and quality of "stuff" accumulated or number of chances we take.
So why not take the risk of walking a new path, at least for a while?
Why not challenge the status quo and explore the possibilities of Life?
Will your room in the Great Hereafter be grander, bigger, brighter, better if you live a life void of risk?
Will you get room service and a maid if you live your earthly life the way others expect you to?
I guess we'll all just have to wait and see won't we?
In the meantime, this girl is going to live like there's no tomorrow, because someday there won't be...
And instead of an epitaph that says, "She always wanted to..." it will say, "She Did It!" or at the very least, "She Died Trying!"