**sigh** I'm sitting here today planning out a vacation for myself, sort of a "one last crawl" through one of my favorite memories as a child, which was the several trips I made to the UP of Michigan, to see the forts, the museums, Mackinaw island, Castle Rock, etc. Those were great and wonderful memories that I love to relive over and over again, and in a way this will allow me one last time to do exactly that, even though I can't do it with the rest of my family, unlike the last few times we went up there. I'm also not likely to ever have another chance to go up there ever again on another visit. So this will be a very special, bitter sweet visit, and it's got me crying thinking about it.
Partly because, unlike before, this time I will be alone. No mom, no dad (he's still alive, even though mom isn't. he just can't go, too old), no sister, no aunts or uncles. Just me, and God. Just thinking about that makes me cry because those times we visited the UP, they were extremely special to me. But they always included family. Now, on this one last trip, it'll be just God and I. And, of course, there's nothing wrong with that. Having God along at all times is a very good thing. But, sans a family of my own, or even my immediate family that I had growing up, it just feels different; and sad, almost lonely.
And yet, because of how special those visits were to the UP, I wanna go anyways. Sorta like this trip will be, to me at least, one last time to say goodbye to all those great places, those memories, those journeys. And, that's not to say that God won't give me one more chance to visit those places again after that. However, I'm not expecting that to happen. But, if it does, I'll praise the Lord for the additional blessing He gives me. And if not, then I will simply thank Him for this one final chance to enjoy the memories of my youth by visiting those places again for one final time.
And, even when mom and dad were grumpy (dad especially), they still made the trips fun and memorable, and something I will always treasure. And, that's what makes this so sad for me. While I may be able to relive those memories one last time, by myself, it will never replace those special childhood times, no matter how many days may remain to me on this earth; be that one year or many decades more. And, for those who are curious as to why I don't ever see myself going back, part of it is due to the direction I see my life going, which will henceforth, after this, make it nigh on impossible to go. The memories of what I once had, and now lost, may also do the same. I don't know. I'll have to wait and see.
I also don't see myself being able to go simply because I want to keep those memories of my childhood alive, as much as I can. So, short of God giving me a family of my own to share this wonderful, amazing experience with, I don't see any reason to go again after this year. I loved visiting the UP and all the amazing places (especially the historical ones) that exist up there, and all they had to offer and teach. But, without my immediate family able to go with me, it just isn't, and won't be the same. Even so, I will go. I have to go. Just one last time. One final time to say goodbye to all those great places, and then quietly hand them off to the future generations so that they too might gain as much enjoyment and beloved memories from them as I have.
And please, if you think of it, pray for me on my upcoming trip. It'll be both fun and relaxing, as well as a bit sad and tearful. But, in the end, it will be yet another great memory for me to carry with me the rest of my life, no matter how long God may choose for that to be. ^_^