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?”