Plans come closer to fruition while progress is being made on your vehicle. Promises are made to family for a test drive when you are finished with construction. Everyone is enthralled for your endeavor. Interrupted by life you find yourself with an opportunity lost. Pondering what could of been tormenting your thoughts. At the end lessons are learned. In my case, relearned. Throughout my life I have always strived to miss out on as little as possible. As many avid overland travelers do, I value the just go attitude. Though as much as we think we reflect that ideal, sometimes life has a not so nice way of pointing out the important pieces we missed.
Over the past few years I have been focused on building my truck and preparing for my epic adventure. Every few weeks I made time to call my grandparents and do some catching up. Ever persistent my Grandpa asked when I would be back up to visit. Responding with “when I get some time” and “before my trip” usually ended our conversations. By now a year had passed since my last visit.
The phone rings. Shaking news is delivered that my grandpa has been diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments began. Slowly his energy was drained while the cancer began to shrink. His doctors were very happy with the progress and only one more chemotherapy treatment was left. Suddenly my grandpa’s body was bombarded with illness, which his weakened immune system could not handle. Pneumonia, lung infection, blood infection and an overworked heart landed him in the University of Utah Hospital’s intensive care unit. Another call comes of my grandpa’s worsening condition.
Twelve hours of driving later I arrived at the hospital where my uncle greeted me. As I walk upstairs with my uncle, he explains that Grandpa may not make it through the night. We enter the room. “Dad, Trav is here,” says my Uncle. Struggling my Grandpa opens his right eye, then reaches for my hand. His eye quickly shuts and then begins to relax his body some. One hour later as my Grandpa takes his last breath I realized I hadn’t been keeping true to my ideals. An opportunity is lost.
Sometimes on the road of life we can easily be distracted. Work, financial or even health issues unexpectedly dot the road hindering our paths. However if we don’t adjust our routes accordingly we can never continue down the road. I am writing this as a sharp reminder to myself and as hopeful lesson for others to make time for what is important and avoid falling into the distractions of life. The road is waiting, get out and go.