Appreciating Each Day

There’s nothing to remind us of how fragile our lives are like losing someone we know, particularly when that person is only 39-years-old. Our friend’s daughter passed away at the end of last week. She was young and of course, it was very unexpected.

When we first moved to Our Little House, one of my goals was to regularly do something we had never tried before or see places we had never been.

We’ve tried a lot of stuff. Bowling, which I had done regularly when I was younger, was something I got Dale to try. We’ve also went canoeing, which I didn’t like because I couldn’t quite get the balance thing, but it was ok. and I’m glad I tried it.

We’ve stayed at one of the most reportedly haunted hotels in the country, which is within a couple of hour’s drive, visited small towns and attended some pretty unique festivals.

The past year or so, however, we haven’t done a whole lot. I think we found ourselves stuck in a sort of routine rut. Heavy spring rains that brought flooding to the area wiped out our boating (it’s pretty hard to launch the boat when the ramp is gone) last year, and we trapped ourselves into a routine of running errands and watching television on the weekends.

If anything can come from an untimely death, it is the realization that we may not have another tomorrow. As we mourn for our friend’s loss, we can’t help but wonder what his daughter didn’t get to do in life.

But by all accounts, whatever she did, she did to the fullest. As he talked about his daughter with us, he recalled that she was always smiling, had lots of friends and was always ready for fun.

That spirit moved us out of Our Little House this weekend, helped us rediscover the reason most people believe this is the “Paradise of the Ozarks.”

We took the boat out onto the water early on Sunday morning and watched the sunrise, the most spectacular of sights. We felt the breeze and took in all of the wonders of the natural beauty that surrounds us here; we tried identifying birds we had never seen and even species of trees.

We looked forward to the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, one that will be spent with friends and family, remembering and celebrating the lives of the people who spent their lives nurturing us into the people we now are, but who are now passed.

We also made plans for the upcoming summer here in paradise. When I was in Gulf Shores, Alabama a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try kayaking Graham’s Creek. Kayaks, I decided, were much more fun as I could maintain my balance better and didn’t find myself in the water.

Dale has yet to try kayaking, though, but we plan on hitting the Buffalo River in Buffalo National Park, not far from us this summer.

While we didn’t know our friend’s daughter well, we think that she would be happy her loss reminded us to live our lives and not just watch it pass us by.

Do you have upcoming plans for this summer that you’re looking forward to or something you’ve never tried before that may be on your “bucket list?”


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20 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    “Always smiling” and “lots of friends” is a great legacy. Life is so unpredictable and nothing is for certain. Live each day to the fullest, whatever you happen to be doing. It’s the best we can do and hope for in this crazy life.

  2. Merr says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news of her passing. My condolences to the family and friends.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter. This is a good reminder for me to make sure I’m doing some of those things that are on my bucket list–often they get pushed aside, don’t they? I have on my bucket list visiting my husband’s grandparents this summer in CA.

  4. Kerry Dexter says:

    I think your froend’s daughter would be glad to have inspired such things, Kerri, both for you and for all who read your thoughts. all the best to her community of friends and family.

    • Kerri says:

      The turn out at the memorial service was awesome, Kerry, more than 250 people showed and this is a very small town. It shows she had an impact on a lot of people. We all can only hope to be so fortunate.

  5. Sheryl says:

    Losing someone – especially someone so young – is always so jolting and makes us realize how honored we are to be here. Everything can change in a minute, and I’m always aware of that. Sorry for this tragic loss. Let’s all have a great summer filled with new adventures!

  6. Irene says:

    There are always reminders but we always forget. Thanks for this one! I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Best, Irene

  7. I think you’re on the right track and thanks for the reminder. We tend to get so caught up in the day to day that we don’t schedule the fun stuff. I’m *aware, and live each day with a certain awareness, but I need to push myself to do NEW stuff. I’m so sorry to read about your friend’s daughter. That’s so young.

  8. Heather L. says:

    This is a great reminder to actual write down my “bucket list” which has just been in my mind until now. I need it in front of me or it won’t get done. One thing for sure is to see the King Tut exhibit here in Seattle before it’s retired permanently.

  9. Alexandra says:

    Like minds, and all that stuff! I wrote about the topic this week, too. My adult daughter had several trips to the ER and blood transfusions over the winter, which may have pushed me into these thoughts of enjoying every day, but also I’m horrified to learn that the result of exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday lives may be passing the changes on to descendants. With global warming, I do not think we are going back to the way life was on this planet, and that makes me sad, too, for my grandchildren. Which is why I fight so hard to raise awareness. Unfortunately, the government does not seem to notice. So, not only do I try to appreciate every day, I stand here waving warning flags about our future.

    • Kerri says:

      I commend all that you do, Alexandra. You ARE making a difference and that’s a great way to live your life!

  10. Carol says:

    In 2003 I had a heart attack and three cardiologists told me I should have been dead. I decided then to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I bought a Martin guitar, and since I’ve always wanted to show dogs, bought a show prospect boxer. I now have several champions in my line and love traveling to dog shows and meeting great people. Living in my little house is also one of those dreams that will come true. Now I’ve just started sheep herding lessons with my boxer. I have tickets for two concerts, Jackson Browne and Buddy Guy, for this summer and plans to do some camping with my DH, he’s such a city boy, it’s great to take him out and see how much he enjoys being away from the city.

    • Kerri says:

      That’s great, Carol. I’m a concert goer and love listening to music myself! We did see REO last fall at our small performing arts center, although now I wish I had bought the VIP tickets, which would have put us from row 4 to row 1 and we would have gotten to meet the band. You only live once, right!? 🙂 Enjoy your summer, especially that camping. We say we don’t do that anymore because, really, every night is like camping for us! 😉