Have you completed anything on your bucket list?

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2010

My bags are almost packed; I’m not quite ready to go. Neither is Victoria. At the time of this writing, I’m trying to get us both prepared for separate adventures. My youngest daughter is leaving for cheerleading camp, and I’m going to Paris, France. Without my husband or children. Allow me to explain.

About nine months ago, I answered a call from my sister-in-law, Vicki, who asked, “Do you want to go to Paris?” If I didn’t know Vicki I would have thought it was a joke. But I know Vicki. She has long dreamed of visiting Paris and I was honored to be included in this adventure. My husband added his enthusiastic endorsement and booked my flight.

In the meantime, Victoria was chosen for the cheerleading squad and will attend camp while I’m in France. Admittedly, I feel guilty about missing her performance, but Michael assures me he will tape it so I can watch it repeatedly when I return.

Was a trip to France on my bucket list? Not really. I always imagined it would be a wonderful experience but never really thought it would happen. My first and last bucket list was assembled on March 12, 1993, in an East Jefferson Hospital room. While fighting leukemia, I asked God to allow me to live to see my little girls, Lauren and Elise, graduate kindergarten. I also asked for the chance to see my two oldest children, Monique and Geoffrey, go through their teenage years. I fast forwarded and asked to see my children get married and even asked to see a grandchild. However, I concluded with my greatest wish of all: to fearlessly enter eternity whenever God calls me and to faithfully trust Him to care for those I leave behind.

That was over 16 years ago. Since then, Victoria Grace, our daily reminder of God’s ability to heal and restore, was added to our family, and I’ve considered every day a gift. I’m excited about my trip, but I’m just as excited to return home. I plan to view Victoria’s film of cheer camp, finish a few projects that I’ve started, begin others that exist only in my mind and continue to enjoy life as it unfolds. I’m not sure what else God has in store. He has allowed me to experience some of my 1993 desires, and while I hope to experience the remainder, the top of my list remains the same: I want to trust Him with my life and eventually, my death.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.