I’ve never had a bucket list. My wants and desires have always been pretty simple and like most people, I thought I’d have a lifetime to do the things I wanted. My lifetime, when I thought of my future, would be about 90+ years. Well being diagnosed with lung cancer at 40 changed that idea a bit.

I enjoy vacations, but I’ve never had a huge desire to see other countries. Most of my vacations have always been to a beach, except when visiting family in Kentucky. I grew up in Southern California and have lived in the scorching desert of Nevada for 23 years. I miss the beach so I try to go at least twice a year. I miss the salty smell in the air, the cool breeze drifting off the water, the birds singing overhead, and the soft, warm sand under my feet. It brings me back to my childhood of me and my mom laying on a blanket and getting our tan on (or burn in some cases).

Last summer my husband and I were talking about where to go this year. My daughter saw the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas on TV and said we needed to go. Even though it’s more expensive than our usual week long vacations, we agreed it looked amazing and we should go.

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a planner. I plan and research everything to death. I spent countless hours looking at hotel rooms, checking on flights, reading about all the cool excursions we could do. We had a something planned for every day and for 3 months we counted down the days until we were in paradise…literally, Paradise Island.

It was breathtakingly beautiful! The clearest, bluest water I’ve ever seen. We rode water slides, swam with dolphins, fed the sting ray, snorkeled, laid on the beach, went to the spa, golfed, rode a speed boat to a secluded island….my husband and daughter even “walked with the sharks”. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We made great memories that not even cancer can take away.

My daughter was able to cross this off her bucket list (which she has quite a list already at 15). I’m torn about making a bucket list. Part of me doesn’t want to make one because then it seems like I’m counting down to the end. Maybe if I hold off and keep a few things in my back pocket on reserve, then the end won’t come. I know it sounds silly. The end is coming regardless, right? Of course it is; it is for all of us.

After talking with my friend Ramiro today, who has been to many other countries, we’re thinking of going to Costa Rica and my daughter really wants to go to Greece and Italy. I’ve still never been to New York and Shelly says I need to visit her in Minnesota 🙂 …in the winter! I don’t think I’m built for 20 below.

So I guess these are on my list for now. Do you have a bucket list?

The important thing is to LIVE. Each day is a blessing and growing old is a privilege. beach challenger fish pose Atlantis 003 Atlantis 013 Atlantis 025 Atlantis sting rays 010 Atlantis sting rays 012

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