My Bucket List

It’s hard anymore not to think about death. I find myself thinking about it more and more lately. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say thinking about death, but thinking about life on a shortened timeline. I’m constantly aware of my situation and always thinking about the next steps necessary. I actually did something today that I just never imagined I would be doing at my age, I called a local cemetery to ask about plots. I’m hoping it works out though as it’s within walking distance to our house so Eric and the kids could “visit” often. Yes, I know I’m not actually going to be there, but it seems like it might be of comfort to the kids to know that once they are a little older, they can go there and visit with me whenever they’d like. Or maybe that’s just comforting to me. Either way, I think it works out. So I go tomorrow at 10am to discuss with the guy who keeps the cemetery I guess what my options are and…gulp…prices. He didn’t really want to talk over the phone, so I figured I’d just wait til tomorrow to ask about that, but my amazing google-ing skills came up with the average prices falling somewhere between $1,500-4,000 per plot. And we’d be buying two. Really hoping it’s on the cheaper end!! But that’s a once-and-done expense, so I guess it’s really not too bad if you think about it that way.

This also got me thinking about a “bucket list”. For those not familiar with the concept, it’s a list of things you want to achieve, see, do, or experience before you die or “kick the bucket”. Clever, right? So I’ve had a few people ask me if I have one or just in general if I feel like there’s anything that I feel like I need to accomplish before I die. First of all, I’m glad to have people in my life that feel comfortable enough and know me well enough to not feel weird asking me this. It doesn’t bother me one bit to talk about death. In fact, I think I might make some people uncomfortable with how candidly I talk about it. Again, it’s not giving up, it’s acceptance of the most likely outcome. I asked my husband if he thought I was in denial (because I wouldn’t know if I was in denial, right?) and he said no, that it’s acceptance. And he’s a smart dude, so I’ll go with that.

I was admittedly thrown off the first time someone asked me about a bucket list because I had truly never given it much thought besides being mildly annoyed by how it’s like a “thing” now on pinterest and some of the things are just so ridiculous. Case in point:

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Why are you buying clothes you don’t like? Why pee in every ocean? Why not swim in every ocean? Sometimes I worry about the human race, but that’s a blog for another day haha. I hope these gave you a good chuckle, as they did me.

So after wracking my brain and feeling like I should be able to think of something, I realized that I’m not really a “dreamer” type in that sense. I’ve always been someone to be content where they are. I was never someone who felt trapped in everyday life, but someone who rather enjoyed the predictability and routine that came along with the daily grind. But I feel like I should be able to think of something! So after wracking what’s left of my brain, I came up with three things:

1. Going to Italy.
It’s always been a dream of mine to see Venice and, let’s be honest, I’ve heard the food ain’t bad. This is most likely not even a possibility at this point due to my condition, aneurysm, and brain tumor, but it’s a fun thought nonetheless. More of like a daydream, the thought of actually going gives me a little anxiety. But I don’t get out much anymore haha. We are so blessed that we got to take a dream Disney vacation from the amazing folks at For Pete’s Sake cancer respite foundation. Their main goal is to make sure that cancer patients and their families get to take a break from the disease and enjoy time together. We feel so fortunate to have been one of the families able to participate with them. What parent doesn’t dream of taking their kids to Disney?? Well, we got to do that. Officially off the bucket list!! If you are looking for a great charity to donate to, this one is legit. Here’s their website: http://www.takeabreakfromcancer.org

2. See Hillsong United live.
I love Hillsong. Like, a lot. So to see them live and worship with them would probably be the coolest thing ever. Also not sure if it’s a possibility as the strobe lights may send me into seizures, among many other hinderances lol. I’m such a dork about them that every time someone checks out my blog from Australia, I think to myself, “maybe it’s Hillsong!!” Right, cuz there aren’t other people in Australia…

3. Experience as much as I can with my family and make as many lasting memories as possible.
Hey! A doable one! This one is for obvious reasons and is definitely something I’m working on. I’m trying to make my time count in this area and be more effective as a parent. In spite of my condition, life goes on and my day to day life still includes a lot of disciplining (read: yelling at) my kids and doing the normal day to day stuff. Although I tire easily and often have intense pressure in my head, I feel pretty good most of the time.

What I came to realize about a bucket list, was that it isn’t about dying at all, but living. It’s about making sure you have goals, and dreams, and things to look forward to. Most of the ones you see include travel, romance, children, adventure, things that we all want. I get the feeling that deep down, we all want to leave feeling like we accomplished something. So I continue to do the work that I believe God has set before me. Cancer has given me my voice and my platform from which to speak and God has provided everything else. I feel content and joyful, and I am confident that I will be able to cross #3 off my list before I go, whenever that may be.

So I gotta know, what’s on your bucket list??

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9 thoughts on “My Bucket List

  1. One thing. To see you defeat this turd of a disease using the three legged stool like countless others have. Others have done it and you can to.

  2. Kim, we are no Italy but Ohio is a fun place to visit =) At least you can cross off peeing in the Atlantic in a few weeks! LOL, just make sure we are not near you when you do it.

    I have to admit, I like your view of being content. I have a hard time getting caught up in the upcoming events that I let the here and now slip by. No way do I take for granted the downtimes and my mind is constantly thanking God for the little things.

    I think one thing both the hubby and I would love to check off would be to visit every state in the U.S., and from there, as many countries as possible. You know us, world travelers. If you want to tag along, let me know =) And of course, we want to be debt free and stay that way – That’s living like no one else so that later you can live like no one else! One can dream, right?

  3. I never believed in bucket lists, until I got my diagnosis. I also didn’t ever feel like creating a plan for what to do with me when I died, figuring that memorials and such are for the loved ones left behind, and they should do what will help them the most. After my diagnosis, I had a long talk with my husband and my mom, and we came up with a general plan for what to do after. (Basically, I don’t want to be buried and I don’t want my ashes to be so much clutter on someone’s mantle.) And then I started planning what else to do with the rest of my life. I went to New Mexico last month with my mom. I plan to hike as much as possible for as long as possible. And I intend to see my youngest graduate from high school in 6 years, and college in 10!

  4. To live well until we die should be everyone’s goal. That’s why we were created. Sounds like you are figuring this out with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In the process all of us benefit from your insights and perspective on LIFE. It really is not the length of days but the quality of them and how we live them. The Lord provides so much more depth of understanding this as we face life threatening hardships. Take it from a seasoned hospice nurse – you, lead by the Lord God Himself are the captain of your days and how to live them. Our lives are richer because of your journey. Most of us do not realize how amazing each one of our lives is and how many people are affected by what we do, say and how we live. This is a lesson we all can learn from you on your journey. The Lord gets glory to Himself through a life totally surrendered. Go Girl!

  5. Well, i saw you on news 8 this morning. You are amazing and an inspiration to me! On my bucket list would be to knit a special item for each of my children! I love to knit and it would give me joy knowing they had something i made for them. I would also be open to and feel very priviledged to knit something for you to pass down to your children. My email is hope2311.hb@gmail.com . i have a blog, although i have not updated it recently http://www.hopemichele.com. I will be prayi g for you. Thankyou for living out your faith so publicly. It has really blessed me and given me perspective.

  6. Kim,
    Also saw your story on News 8. We live in Omaha, Neb. and want to help pass down memories for you. If interested, we could send a toy for each child each year at Christmas time with an accompanying biblical verse – and any special thought you may have about that verse or a life thought for them. Maybe provide your 50 favorite or point us in the direction and we’ll go from there and we can package them in a way so your message of God touches them at Christmas time. You can message me on Twitter @melinsommerfeld
    May God bless you and your family.
    Melinda

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