We had started saving for it back in 2018. And there it was, in the bottom of the drawer, the bank bag labeled Portland Maine 2020.
I needed something to look forward to. I refer to it as a finish line. I like to set them in front of me, sometimes daily, but especially during seasons that require unusual focus of my attention.
Irish Fest in Weston, MO on the second weekend in October was always a finish line after a long summer of Farmer’s Market, Market Meals and 15 hour work days on Saturdays. It was a push, but I knew it would soon be over because I could see the finish line ahead. Knowing that the life of hospitality follows this ebb and flow, it was an important practice that helped maintain some level of sanity, or at least it was a theoretical attempt to do so.
2018 looked like it might be a year of reprieve from the onslaught of difficulty that began in 2016. We drew a finish line. We had never witnessed New England and its colors of fall. We agreed that would be our anticipated destination.
We never crossed it together.
2018 disagreed with our hope that things might be letting up. We almost made it through the year. But November 2, 2018 marked the beginning of a new challenge. Cancer had returned for a third time.
Words like inoperable were included in this third conversation. The options seemed fewer. But this wasn’t my first rodeo. I vowed to make some new choices. They were choices she didn’t initially understand.
And maybe never did.
“You don’t seem worried!?!” This was how she took my choice to remain calm and remind myself that the Prince of Peace was still in charge of His kingdom, and I liked the privilege afforded me under that jurisdiction.
The road got quickly rocky and rough soon after that diagnosis. 2018 gave way to the assault that would be known as 2019, the year the biggest vow of my life would be discharged.. Exactly one year later, death finished its assignment and left her lifeless body in the temporary hospital bed in my side bedroom.
My new reality had begun.
In that new reality were new decisions to be made in a new way. I would no longer have to consult another on matters that would affect our future. It was no longer “ours.” It was only mine.
About a month ago, as I sat at my desk going through the stack of papers that needed my attention that I told myself I would take care of later, I pulled open the bottom drawer and found that bank bag labeled Portland Maine 2020.
“Yeah, darlin,’ go make it happen”
And so I am.
Get your motor runnin' Head out on the highway Lookin' for adventure And whatever comes our way Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf 1968 © Universal Music Publishing Group