Seventy six hours is all that it was ... but it felt like so much more.
We left our home just a little after 9:00 a.m. four days ago. We returned in and around 1:00 p.m. yesterday. I simply could not wait to get home and sit quietly by myself, process my thoughts and let all of the good stuff sift to the top. Unfortunately, I fell asleep. Each and every time I sat still. I fell asleep. But here are a few things that I learned:
- Take your cell phone with you wherever you may go. You just never know when you may get locked in a bathroom. The amusing part of this story (to me) is that my two sons and my mom were outside the door trying everything in their 'bag of tricks' to rescue me. Nothing was working and we simply didn't have the tools to dismantle the door knob. No matter how many times I asked, no one would simply call the front desk to ask for assistance. After many pleas, my Youngest Son finally heard me and within moments help was on its way.
- Stop and enjoy the view when stopped for a red light on a highway. The most serene moments can be those that are thrust upon you as you are busy rushing down the life's roadways.
- Life does not have to be all sunshine and roses to be fun and memorable. It was rainy at times, windy at others and mostly overcast. I will take rain over snow any day in July. I enjoy wind because the mosquitoes disappear on a windy day. I enjoy nature providing a natural source of shade on a cloud-covered day. Life is not about the weather - it is about carrying your own piece of sunshine within and making memories to take home and savor on those very same cloud-filled days when you get back home.
- Parting is such sweet sorrow. Share the moment with others and leave on a positive note. Our group was large (thirty nine, out of a possible fifty four family members attended our little reunion) and one would think 'one' would not make a difference. But 'one' does. One may leave and another may arrive but a fingerprint was left by each individual person who could make it. And even those who couldn't...
- If you want people to remember your name, make an impact in some way. Go BIG and you will be remembered. One little dynamo was here, there and everywhere throughout our three-day-reunion. No one will forget him. I choose to remember him by a moment at the onset of our family gathering. He was asked, "Is ____ your cousin?"; his response was "He is my family!" In my mind, he coined a phrase which encapsulated our gathering. "We are family!"
The best thing that happened to me during our little reunion, was being locked in that bathroom. I was being swept up in negativity and was feeling the need for some alone-time. I love how life 'answers your prayers'. I could see the humor in the situation immediately and laughing snapped me back into a better place. I wanted to be alone - and there I was. No way for me to get out and no way (barring knocking down the door) for anyone to get in. That broken door knob gave me the gift of what I needed.
The red light on the highway felt like it took an eternity to turn green on our way to our reunion. I simply could not wait to arrive. We hit the same red light on our way home. I was just as anxious to get home. But I stopped to take a few pictures. I spotted my sister's motorhome two cars behind us. We were not alone. We were headed home. The red light stopped me in my tracks (once again) and shouted "Savor this moment!"
When life stops you in your tracks, listen. What silent plea is being answered? Perhaps you cannot recognize anything but an inconvenience. But you simply never know what that 'inconvenience' could bring. Stopping and enjoying the view, taking a moment to breathe could be just what you didn't know you needed.