My husband, Gary, had a ’66 GTO when he was a bachelor. In all the years of our marriage, any time one of these classic cars came within sight, it was pointed out to me; I know the front grill of this car by heart.
Last weekend, my hometown hosted the annual Flashback Cruz with a fabulous line-up of hundreds of classic cars arrayed in Drake Park, crowned by a downtown cruise later that evening.
I browsed among the vintage vehicles while the Beach Boys sang, “… and we’ll have fun, fun, fun now that daddy took the T-Bird away.”
I’m digging the pink flamingo
Drifting from row to row of classic shine, I overheard some interesting snatches of conversation:
“ … original cloth, original design.”
“ … with that particular set-up, it had 1300 horses.”
“ … build a custom frame and chop the cab.”
“ … we were at a Reno car show and there were 550 of these there [Ford Model A Roadsters].”
I love seeing that kind of passion in people. These are vintage vehicle enthusiasts. They eat, sleep, live, repair, clean, and polish classic cars and trucks.
Wandering among the vehicles brought Gary to mind. Of course. He would have enjoyed this car show, this fabulous 60s music, being outdoors together.
It’s fun to flash back, isn’t it? Whether to a happier, healthier, married time—as in, me and Hubby before cancer, before widowhood—or to our childhoods, or our glory days when maybe we were the sports hero in high school. Memories are a good thing.
It’s also a good thing to look forward with goals and dreams. Whoever wrote this quote, from Eleventh Doctor, knew me well:
I am and always will be the optimist, the Hoper of far-flung hopes and Dreamer of improbable dreams.
I have a rather large and impossible vision (to me, but not to God) to someday repurpose a barn into a home and host retreats or workshops for women who have experienced loss and are ready to live forward again.
Looking back and dreaming forward are good things.
But I think the most important lesson cancer taught Gary and me was this one: Be here now. Live now while there is still life and breath.
In an effort to be here now after cancer invaded our lives, Gary and I took up hiking and snow-shoeing in Oregon’s Cascade mountains. We booked speaking engagements across the country: Driving New England’s back country roads during leaf season, exploring the Alamo in San Antonio, hiking to high places in the Tetons and the Rockies, sightseeing at Venice Beach, discovering Utah’s orange canyons.
And now those be here now moments show up as reels of memory-full movies scrolling in living color through my brain.
This is the balance I want to live today:
Polish and display and treasure our memories; be a Hoper of far-flung hopes and a Dreamer of improbable dreams; and live fully now.
Bonus material — a couple of not-your-ordinary classic cars caught my eye:
Um … not the original colors, I’m thinking
Talk about your low-rider: ’54 Chevy pick-up
Crazy cool vintage RV
P.S. If you know someone who would benefit from living more in the now, please share, tweet or post!