Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Bucket List

Do you remember the movie, The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?  In this movie, two terminally ill men decide to forego their hospital stay in favor of checking items off a "bucket list" - a list of things they want to accomplish before they pass away.

Do you have such a list? Or a "30 by 30" or "40 by 40" list?.
I don't.
I have just under 6 months til I hit 40, so if I was to create a "40 by 40" list, I'd probably have to include things I know I've already done on my list.  I'm running low on time!

I have to say, though, if I were to have a bucket list, it would include an enormous amount of travel.  Perhaps at the very top of my bucket list would be a trip to Scotland


This isn't just a random travel idea.  It's personal.
My mother was born in the town of Stevenston, Scotland and lived in Greenock before her family immigrated to Canada when she was a young girl.  While several people in her extended family also made the journey, many did not, leaving us with a lot of relatives back in Scotland.

As a child growing up, I had the opportunity to meet several relatives from the overseas branch of our family tree.  I remember many of these visits - and remember them with great fondness.

Uncle Dougie from Scotland with
my sister {Jeannette}, my Granny, my mother who is holding me!

Jeannette, Auntie Agnes {wife of Uncle Dougie and sister to my Granny}, Granny and me

Auntie Jean {far left} and Auntie Bessie {far right} from Scotland {Granny's sisters}
my mother and Granny in the middle

Over the years, we'd see Auntie Agnes and Uncle Dougie, as well as Auntie Jean and Auntie Bessie.  Later, we'd meet "Young Agnes" {guess whose daughter she was!} along with her husband Iain and their daughters Mhairi and Sara.  We'd also meet "Young Jean" {again...any guesses as to who her mother was??} and her husband Billy and son Stuart.  Auntie Bessie's grand-daughter, Catherine, paid a visit once as well.  So did Uncle "Chickie".  So, there were several people I'd come to meet over the years.  They weren't just pictures in a family photograph album.  They would become familiar people.

In 1996 I was living back home after having finished university in 1994.  In 1996 I had a work opportunity which had me living in Indiana for 9 months.  I received a per diem and "hardship" allowance, but given that I lived at home with my parents, I was able to save a good amount by the time that stint was over.  I could have done anything I wanted with that money.  I chose to use it to take my mother back to Scotland.  She had never been back since her family moved to Canada when she was a child!

On November 16, 1996, my mother and I arrived in Scotland on her 50th birthday!  Three days later, I would celebrate my 24th birthday there as well!  We stayed with "Young Jean" and we had the opportunity to visit with many relatives.

My mother with Auntie Agnes and Auntie Jean

Me, "Young Agnes", my mother {Anne}, Auntie Agnes and Auntie Jean

Iain, Sara, "Young Agnes", Auntie Jean, Tommy {Auntie Jean's son}, Auntie Jean, and Brian {Sara's husband}

We met even more people than shown here.  One day I will have to post some pictures of the sights we took in on our trip but, alas, it was in the pre-digital age and I would have to scan all of them and that could take me a while!!

Sadly, since our visit, we have lost Auntie Rose {not pictured}, Auntie Jean {an aunt my mother was very close with}, her husband Uncle Tommy, Auntie Agnes, and my mother.

Through the miracle of modern technology, I have friended both Sara and Brian on Facebook, as well as Auntie Bessie's grand-daughter Catherine.  I really need to do a much better job at keeping in touch with them, but I do check in on their lives every now and then just to see what they are up to!

But back to my bucket list...

I come from a very close-knit family.  It was so incredibly important for me to make this journey with my mother back in 1996.  She never did make it back to Scotland again before she passed away in 2010.  To me, outside of my faith and belief in Christ, there is not a whole lot more important to me than family.  "Things" are nice, but they're just "things".  Nothing can replace family.

Since 1996, I've always thought I would love to travel back to Scotland again one day.  However, when my mother passed away almost 2 years ago, that desire to go back regained strength.  If I were just randomly handed exactly enough money to cover airfare plus whatever it would cost to be there for a couple weeks, I'd go.  Before seeing the seven wonders of the world.  Before a Holy Land trip.  Before any other trip I might possibly add to my bucket list, I would want to travel back to Scotland.


linking up:
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

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