If I had one trip left ….
Good morning. I have been so inspired by a woman who has shared with me that she is dying. She wants to go on a last cruise, in her weakened physical state, before she can’t leave home. Illness has taken her body. Her spirit is alive and well.
A few years ago somehow she entered my life, she and her sister. They knew their cousins and siblings, all women in advanced years, were wanting an experience together before they started to pass on. What an honour. I called it the Cruising Cousins and enjoyed helping these women from around this country get their plans together for their reunion vacation of a lifetime. It was magic and they all made it.
Since then I have introduced some of these women to other vacations and have been struck, in the heart, when they call to get flights to attend to an ailing “cousin”. And then to attend the funerals.
This past month or so I came to know that one of the women I am most close with, when I called to check on her travel plans for the year, is nearing her end. She is very ill, can’t eat and is failing in her health. I was hosting a special wine and appetizer evening this past week locally in a lovely hotel and featuring a luxury cruiseline that I had introduced to some of the cousins over the years. She accepted. Let me call her “Grace”.
Grace arrived at the event, asked for me and found me. We embraced. Does everyone have such a great and close relationship with their travel consultant? Would we say we have become friends?
I looked in to her eyes and felt indeed gratitude for the invitation to keep living. To step out and enjoy what there is left of her life. To grab every precious moment, dress up, don the wig, and purple outfit and step into life. Say yes to the days that are left. No whine, no apology. What a gracious woman indeed. I wonder if I could grow into graciousness like her.
And I did not expect her to book another vacation. I was warmed to my very heart that she placed her name and credit card commitment to sail one last time. She placed her deposit on living and embracing the dream.
As I write this I am streaming love for this woman and her strength of character and her love for life and my deep gratitude for knowing her.
I ask her what is on her list of places she has always wanted to go? She tells me and says her doctor has approved her to travel. I get the sense the wise physician has said, “go, and live your life to its fullest”. I want that doctor to speak to me in my last years of my life. Maybe she is speaking to me now?
International Womens day was yesterday. I was busy connecting women with their dreams, all day. I feel like I am in the river of bliss and doing what comes as natural to me. I too have imagined what my life would be like. This is part of it, an expression of a small part of inspiring women everywhere to take centre stage of their own lives, be their own leading lady of their unique story.
To inspire women to travel in love and luxury, with grace and style to see places and wonders of the world. To help women literally and in every sense, hold hands around this world in peace, by celebrating our authenticity and showing up in all our brilliance.
This woman, Grace, may never know how her single life has impacted me, and I expect if you are reading this, you also are impacted.
Help me in thanking her, from all of our hearts, to live the dream that still stirs in her heart. To make choices to put family first, and to honour our dreams until our last breath.
Today I honour all women, and am grateful for Grace showing up and staying in my life, leading the way.
Peace be with you today.