This past month has been a terrible one for me.  Both of my parents passed away within 3 weeks of each other.  Actually it’s been a terrible 6 months, with both of my pets dying over the summer, and now my parents in the fall.  Yes, it’s sad, and I’ve done my share of crying and will continue to cry off and on I think.

However, I don’t think that it has to be all bad.  I think there are gifts and opportunities that come from the death of loved ones – unexpected gifts.  I feel like I crossed some sort of boundary – like up until this point, I was just practicing being an adult, but now I have to be one for real.  Living in the van drives that point home even harder.  With my parents living, I always had a safety net.  I never really used it, but if my grand plans didn’t work out somehow, I could always go home.  Now I can’t do that, and my plans must work.

One of the best gifts from my parents is their love (especially my father’s) of traveling and camping.  The van that I have was the van that they traveled in and stayed in while driving all over the united states.  Their passing away has given me an even stronger longing to visit the sites they visited.  One of the last things my father said to me was that he wanted us to take a trip to Death Valley.  We went to Death Valley when I was a kid, and he has been since.  But now, I know that Death Valley will be my first trip in my van.  I am planning it this spring in memory of my father’s wish to go there.

RIP Mom and Dad!

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