It was a chilly, windy Saturday evening in mid-December. My husband and I were sitting (Inside, thankfully!) at a table with 6 others, having just listened to the President and Vice President of the company I work for speak about the past year. The two of them told stories, handed out awards, and thanked everyone for a year of hard work. There were games, laughs, and even a few grumbles from the audience.
After the presentations were done, people began to mingle. The Vice President made his way over to us. As our conversation progressed, he began to tell us stories of people he knows who have lost loved ones suddenly. One couple had never taken a vacation; they were waiting until the husband retired to begin traveling. They planned their first trip, and days before they were to depart, she passed away suddenly. That man to this day hasn’t forgiven himself. There was a story of a motorcycle accident that ended in tragedy. The message in all of it was to live now, not later.
He urged us to make a ‘bucket list’ of places we wanted to go, and to check one thing off of that list each year. No excuses. He reminded us that the places don’t have to be extravagant, but we needed to get away.
Funny thing was that I’d considered a NASCAR Driving Experience for my husband for Christmas, but didn’t end up purchasing it because I was afraid we wouldn’t want to take a weekend to go. We’re always working on the house, running errands, and catching up from the busy work week. But his story touched me. So much so that I went home and started our ‘bucket list’ as the time ticked past midnight (Way later than I’m usually up!). Some places on that list are simple, others further and more elaborate. “We’ll get there,” I thought. I was so satisfied with having started the list. Taking it one step further, however, I booked the trip I had previously decided against. I felt there was something in the timing of it all.
I learned early on Monday morning that the Vice President went to the hospital sometime on Sunday with heart problems. What they thought was a heart attack thankfully turned out to be atrial fibrillation, but there’s no doubt in my mind that was quite a scare for him, his wife, and his entire family.
I prayed a lot over the next few days. I also did a lot of thinking. Just like the stories he told the night prior, that Sunday could have left his family without a husband and father. Thankfully it didn’t.
The timing didn’t just seem like coincidence to me, and I haven’t taken his message lightly.
We’re going to live.
We’re going to get out.
We’re going to get away.
We’re going to explore.
And we’re going to live from one adventure to the next.
And you know what? We’re going to love every second of it. Because life is just too daggone short, no matter how long you’re here.
I sincerely hope you’ll do the same … don’t wait until the timing is right, because it will never be perfect.