Lately, when it gets quiet, and I have time to think, I'm reminded. We had so many plans. Our future was going to be special. Our future was going to be filled with all of those things that we hadn't been able to do while working. We had dug such a deep financial hole, and we were trying so hard to climb out that things were set to the side for that future.
To be fair, that hole was brought on by things that we should have handled differently, but didn't. If we had been more careful, more financially stable to begin with, if, if, if...
The time you lost your job when the place you worked shut down started that downward slide. When you were first starting to drive those big trucks and finding your groove. The low paying jobs a beginning of our attempt to dig our way back out. Then a difference of opinion led you to once again being unemployed. It was at that time I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not having anything to fall back on as far as savings, had us back using those credit cards. When you were finally, after weeks of trying, not receiving any unemployment all the while, were able to find another job, we were ecstatic. Even if it did mean you would be gone three weeks at a time. We would work it out, we would adjust. We would start the climb out. I was blessed in that my cancer was caught early and much easier treated. I was able to work the entire time, and work I did, no matter how I felt. We did adjust to your being gone, even though it meant that you missed so much of what was going on here. Plans would be made and then changed. I learned how to do many things on my own.
You were working as well, but the pay was so low for your being gone so much. You stayed moving, but those checks didn't even cover the bills owed. I was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and we were getting nowhere fast.
But we would dream, and dream big. We would reach that magical retirement age and then we would do great and fun things. We would save up and buy a recreational vehicle and see the country. I would spend many long moments discussing all of the places that I wanted to visit. The places I wanted to see, the ones I wanted to hike, the memories that we would make. They were all wishful thinking then, but it meant that we still thought those future things were possible.
Then wonder of wonders you got an amazing job. You were still gone for three weeks at a time, but the pay was so very much more. You would be so excited when all of the bills would be paid, without borrowing or shifting or putting off anything. They were paid and there was money left over. We could go out to eat or spend a few dollars on an extra something or other. Our dreams grew stronger in the belief that they really could come true. We were slowly climbing out of that pit of debt and starting to see a bit of daylight. We still were not happy with ourselves and how we had allowed this to happen, but it was a lesson learned and one that we had no intention of repeating.
You got sick and ended up in the hospital a couple of times, it worried you and made you that much more determined to get all of it paid off. When you were released to return to work you did so with a vengeance. If you had been a character in one of those science fiction movies the comment, "the determination is strong in this one" would have been made often about you.
Still, even as you fought your health, even as we slowly climbed out of that hole, you dreamed of things to come. You wanted to build that deck out back, you wanted to get a better vehicle for me, you wanted us to be able to travel and see some of, if not all of the places I had mentioned over the years. You wanted new windows in the house, something that you and I had discussed for years. People talk about having a bucket list, our list would fill a dump truck and spill over the top. Thing is, why dream if you can't dream big?
Then, oh heavens, then, you were discovered deceased in your truck, at a truck stop in Indiana. The truck was parked but it was running. Your last words to me were, "Let me go". Go, you did. You have left this life and moved on to your heavenly home. Those dreams, those hopes, those plans, all of those things we had planned to do, now just a sweet memory.
My comment to anyone reading this, don't put it off. Don't allow yourself to get so deep in debt that it makes it financially impossible to do some of the things you desire. Don't say, some day. That day, like ours, may never come. Enjoy today. Live life, today. Even if you can't travel across the land, find things in the area where you live. Do things locally, build those memories today. Tomorrow is not promised, all of those plans, will mean nothing, if death comes calling.