by Ryan Mitchel Collins
About five years ago as I was passing through St. George I had the opportunity to see some family as they lived there at that time.
I was in a hurry and decided it was best if I kept going and make it to my destination (San Diego) as fast as possible.
I ended up making it to San Diego that night, dead-ending at a beach on the Pacific when there was no longer any road leading west.
What I regret now is not stopping and seeing my family that night. It turns out it was the last opportunity I would ever get to see my cousin and his young family. He passed away a year later, far too soon.
It taught me a valuable lesson in life which is to never pass up the opportunity to see your family and loved ones if you have the chance, especially if you are close by and in their state or area.
The extra effort has to be made, and most of the time, the effort will be yours to make.
Ever since that missed connection with my now passed cousin, I have made the extra effort to see family every chance I get when I am road tripping through their neck of the woods.
So, when I made a 1,600 mile road trip over Thanksgiving weekend, I embraced this ideology and stopped by every family member’s household on the long road to Sheridan, WY.
After all the stops were made and the long journey was coming to an end, I got the opportunity to reflect on all the fantastic memories formed by just taking the time and effort to be there.
It was amazing to me to see how everyone along the way had changed and grown in the short time we had last been together.
As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it.”
Life gets hectic and sometimes people just don’t have the time to be there when all the pressures and obligations of life start to pile on as we get older.
Before you know it, months and years start to weave canyons of distance, but that all goes away in a second once you are there again and many times we are able to carry on where we left off.
For me, there were many reconnections and long lost stories that connected all the dots during my long sojourn.
Sometimes to understand something about the past we must wait until the time is right to grasp some of the things that have happened.
Perhaps it is a maturity level that had to be reached in order for understanding to occur, or perhaps it is just simply waiting until the time is right.
For me, it was getting to know a little more about the final months of my cousin’s life that passed away over four years ago now.
It’s always good to get closure on painful situations, but it’s important to carry on with understanding into the future with your experiences guiding the way and an open mind to learn from past mistakes.