On Thursday, our daughter, Stacey, turned 53.
Four days later, she and her husband, Doug, are scheduled to be dropped off at a marina in Paris Landing, Ky. They plan to motor their 34-foot sailboat down to the Gulf of Mexico, sail across the Gulf of Mexico, sail around the Florida Keys, and then sail on to the British Virgin Islands, where they will live on the boat for the next year or more.
They have spent more than three years reconditioning the boat. In April, they renamed her Lady Gail after our son-in-law’s mother. Our daughter never met her, but Gail lives on in Doug’s dream.
On Oct. 7, 1919 – exactly 100 years before their planned departure date – Stacey’s paternal grandfather was born. Doug never met him, but Grandpa B lives on in their dreams, too.
During the ceremony to rename the boat, our grandson, Brad, and my husband, John, played guitar and sang along with our granddaughter, Courtney. The song, “Save Some Time to Dream,” by John Mellencamp was a surprise.
The message of the song is powerful: Could it be that this is all there is? Could it be there’s nothing more at all? Save some time to dream. ‘Cause your dream could save us all.
Stacey cried. So did I.
A few years ago, Doug was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (also called AFib), a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
This sailing adventure is major. It was scheduled for last year, but Doug needed a major surgery on his heart. Two cardiovascular surgeons performed an inside-outside cardiac ablation. We are so grateful it was totally successful.
So many people give up on their dreams.
A handwritten note with a quote from “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story” by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor hangs on the side of my computer: “This is a really good idea. Before you dismiss it, remember how you felt when it came to you.”
Someone told Stacey she must really love sailing to do this. Stacey said, “Not really, but Doug really loves sailing, and I really love Doug.”
A plaque with the words of Mark Twain hangs in Lady Gail’s galley: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Stacey and Doug living their dream encourages us all to live our dreams. While they’re gone, I expect I will journal more about my experience of their being gone.
Doug’s father lost a toe, a foot and a leg last year – the result of a cut cuticle in a pedicure that could not heal due to diabetes.
This year, Stacey’s dad is working through some health stuff.
None of us are spring chickens. But we are all so proud of them.
In “Save Some Time to Dream,” Mellencamp cautions not to let your time slip away.
A man we met in Florida told us how wise Stacey and Doug are to go on this trip while they are young and strong enough. This man had intended to take a similar voyage. He waited until after he retired, but then his health prevented him from being able to sail. This year, he sold his boat.
Stacey and Doug anticipate having to go back to work after this trip. And even if their time away might delay formal retirement, living their dream is worth it.
If you can refuse to listen to the voice of fear, what dream still lives in your heart?
Today’s Insights was written by the Rev. Debra Basham, author of “Stories of My Heart.” Insights is written by area clergy to give different viewpoints on a variety of topics. It is published each Saturday in cooperation with the Berrien County Association of Churches. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of member churches.