New Year, New Adventures?

It’s a new year!

We don’t believe in resolutions. Those are nearly a setup for failure.

We don’t believe in making sudden or drastic life changes overnight. Yes, it’s a new year, but it’s still just a single day.

We do believe in reflection and setting goals though.

The past year was rough. We lost another friend to cancer. Some family members aren’t taking the best care of themselves, no matter how poorly they’ve been treated or what has happened to them; they just won’t learn.

It’s been a year of emotions.

But a lot of good came out of the year too. We got a new-to-us truck and a new — and our first! — fifth wheel RV. We safely traveled the country and went places we’d only dreamed or read about. Both boys are now homeschooling and are still the best of friends.

Now we’re contemplating a major change over the course of this year…but that’s all we’re going to say about that right now.

Bottom line: live each day to the fullest, and remember that, in the end, you’ll regret the risks you didn’t take rather than those that you did.

Happy 2017! 

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Bittersweet Week

It’s been a week of ups and downs.

The day we went to pick up our new-to-us-truck, a friend of ours suddenly lost his short battle with cancer. The days that followed were tearful, and we tried to be there for his widow — his wife of 41 years — and their family. They are neighbors and dear friends, and our hearts ache for them.

The services for him were beautiful. He was a veteran, so it was also a military service complete with Taps.

One of his daughters spoke during the services, explaining how, after his passing, her dad made himself known to her in his own little way, in a manner that was special and had meaning between the two of them.

After the services we went to Mama ‘Skiy’s parents’ home, to celebrate the Independence Day weekend. Our new truck towed our travel trailer like a dream. No struggle, no sway…it was actually very difficult to even determine whether Coach was still attached and behind us!

The A/C problems in Coach continued and we made do with the leak issues. Overall, it was a nice weekend spent with family.

Looking back now, it’s difficult to think our friend didn’t have something to do with us finding our new truck.

(Her name is Bertha, by the way.)

The day we found Bertha our friend had fallen terminal. We didn’t know it at that time because we weren’t in town, and when we had left to go away for those days he was still at home, having started chemo that week.

He knew about our love of trucks and RVing, and he had a truck himself. We used to talk a lot about camping and traveling.

Then the morning of the day we went to pick up Bertha, our friend passed away. Everything fell together for us that day, while things were falling apart for his family.

He was a little bit of a prankster, with a heart the size of this country. So yes, we’d like to believe that he had a hand in us finding the perfect truck, when for months it had been so difficult and had gotten to the point that it seemed nearly impossible. Sometimes we thought about giving up on the truck search, thinking perhaps our 1500 would pull Coach across the country just fine. Almost immediately we’d reconsider and start looking again.

Then it just happened.

Thank you, Tom. We all miss you.

Farewell To a Friend and Neighbor

Today we had to say good-bye to a friend and neighbor.

After a short battle with melanoma that had returned after years of remission, he was taken too soon from his family on June 28.

This is now our fourth loss to cancer: two relatives and two friends.

The only emotional relief survivors, widows, and widowers have after these type of losses is knowing their loved one is no longer suffering.

But do those same individuals a favor: be there and listen.

They know it will take time. They know their loved one is no longer suffering. They know there will be good and bad days. Believe us — they know. And as good as your intention might be, reminding them of any of this genuinely doesn’t help. They’re not in need of pep talks or therapy sessions right now.

It means everything to just be there. Bring them some food, preferably something that can be put in the freezer and then easily heated in the oven when his/her appetite returns. Offer to clean the house or make some much-needed or put-off repairs. And if a shoulder to cry on is what’s needed, then provide that.

It’s also important to know when to back off. It’s difficult to be alone, especially if the loss is a spouse, but many times the widow/widower also wants alone time.

Everybody heals and moves on at their own pace. No two losses and recovery periods are the same or even similar.

Our friend/neighbor — the widow of our friend/neighbor that we lost — has been incredibly strong. They have a large family, including three daughters and several grandchildren, so between their amazing family and many friends, she’s been receiving help and support from Florida to Pennsylvania.

Love and support. Patience and understanding. When someone is bereaving, those four things mean more than words can ever express.