The Bucket List

Bucket List: A list of things to do before you die

The past months have brought many tears at the thought some of my dreams might not come true.  Many prayers, and quite honestly begging, has been sent up to God for His grace to allow me to complete all the things I’ve ever wanted to accomplish. The past few days He has granted me some of those things.  They may not be fancy and exciting, but they were on my list and important to me.

Bristol 2012On Saturday, Rick and I traveled to Bristol, TN to watch NASCAR.  We have always been racing buddies and talked many times about wanting to visit Bristol.  Our conversations were discussed as if it would be in the far future after kids had left home and then we would travel. But, God had other plans.  Through a connection Rick has, we were given  free “Hot Passes” to the Bristol race.  Most pit passes are ‘cold’ and only allow access to the pits prior to the start of the race. Hot Passes allow you access to the infield garage and pit area during the entire race. Hot passes can be purchased at most tracks, but not at Bristol.  You have to be connected to a race team or media group to receive credentials. So we were very fortunate to have this “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.  Because I’m out of work, I was worried about the expenses of making the trip, but again, God had it all planned.  When we arrived at the track we noticed a sign from the local Toyota dealer advertising free parking for Toyota owners.  Wow, good thing we purchased a Camry a few months ago. We always tailgate and I already had the hamburgers and hot dogs in the freezer, so food was “free” too. We had an amazing time walking the pit boxes and watching the race from trackside. I even got to see the “King” Richard Petty and Rusty Wallace.

This morning I sent my kids back to school.  My daughter is a senior in high school.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t see her graduate, yet today I watched her leave for her last year of high school.  I pulled out the photo of her first day of kindergarten last night.  I showed it to her as we both recalled that day.  She was so excited to start school she didn’t want to stand still to take pictures.  She had already told me she wanted to walk to her class by herself, like a big girl.  My heart was crushed.  I had thought I would walk her to her class, hold her hand and then get a big hug and kiss goodbye as I would wipe away her tears and tell her it would be fine.  Instead, I snapped a picture of her and she turned and ran off to class.  She never waved good bye. She never looked back.  She still hasn’t looked back; she’s been running straight into life ever since.  And soon, she will stretch out her wings and take flight.  I have cried so much this morning and even as I write there are tears of joy and sorrow.  I am so happy for all that she is doing, but I am so sad to see this part of parenting her coming to an end. I am so thankful God gave her to me.  I am so blessed He has healed me so I can continue to be her mommy, her friend and, one day, grandma to her children.  I will see her graduate, get married and raise a family.  I am healed and I am blessed.

I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and blessing.  I can’t stop thanking God for allowing me to do and see the important things in life.  Yes, there is fear that God is allowing me to check off each item for a reason.  But, maybe if I keep adding to the list, He’ll keep me healed and alive for many years.


  1. Judy Miller says:

    You are such a special child of God. he is still holding “your hand” and walking you to may seem sad that your children are growing up..but..God is making sure you will always be here to hold their hand at any age…they always need you…just as we always need God by our side…so happy you and Rick could go to Bristol! saw a good race…keep adding to that bucket list and make it good and long….just like your life is going to be!!..we all continue to pray for you and your family..hugs and love!!!

  2. Anne Tubaugh says:

    I have to stop reading your posts at work, or I’m going to have to start my own blog entitled “Tears on My Desk!” Steph, you are such an inspiration. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you. I don’t know what it is, but it’s BIG whatever it is! Bless you, my sweet friend.

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