My First Footsteps of Renewal
March 2015 (Personal Journal Entry)
For the last six months, I have wondered what happened to the “Nancy Rose” who my family, my friends and I loved so well. She was someone who smiled and laughed her way through the challenges of life. She was independent, highly creative and a free spirit woman. She was a woman of great faith and tried each day to show simple acts of kindness to strangers along her life path. She danced, she sang, she traveled and she celebrated each moment of life. What happened to “Nancy Rose?”
Life happened. Or maybe, I should say, death happened. In the last eight years, I have lost the ones I loved the most. First, my beloved father had his eternal homecoming. Then, one of my dear friends, my faith sister, lost her battle with breast cancer. Six months later – Ed, my oldest brother and my dear sweet protector; took his last earthly breath after challenging cancer for seven years. And then I had to say good-bye to several dear life mentors and friends; as cancer, once again, struck down their lives. It took me a year to grieve these farewells. I took the time to shed the tears and mend my hurting heart. However, the healing process did not last long.
On Christmas morning in 2012, I sat with my younger brother, Gary, and planned a future filled with adventure, travel, and family gatherings. Our “bucket list” included a Rick Steve’s My Way Tour of Europe for Gary, his daughter (my niece), his son (my nephew) and me. Gary believed it was time for us to seize the day and celebrate our family. Carpe Diem!
One month later, our plans changed forever. Gary was an endurance athlete, an Ironman triathlete. He thought he had over trained for his next event in February and was feeling some muscle pain. Gary was diagnosed with IV stage pancreatic cancer. I would spend the next year and a half, caring for my dying brother. I witnessed incredible feats of courage and strength as Gary fought to live each day with dignity. And on his last day, I had to say good-bye to another loving brother. We were best friends and each other’s life coach.
Today is March 28, 2015, almost two years have passed since Gary’s final homecoming. My dear friends and my mother have created a peaceful harbor for me to rest as my grief turns to grace. I still have moments where the memories are tears upon my face. But slowly, the veil of darkness is lifting away from my soul.
I wonder, “Where is Nancy Rose?” I keep OUR bucket list posted by my desk. That simple list becomes the light of reawakening for me. I love to travel. I have always had the initiative to seek, to learn, and to experience different cultures. I have traveled many places with my father and my mother, my brothers, my friends, and on several international mission teams. Now, I just have to find the inner strength and courage to travel solo. Carpe Diem!
On April 1 (not an April Fool’s joke), I am confirmed on a Rick Steve’s Best of Europe
21 day tour, EUR09.03.15! I did it!
I am going on a journey to reawaken my soul!
You are invited to join me through this travel journal
as I take my first solo steps in…
The Renaissance of a Rose!