Oct 11, 2012

Bad Things Can Happen To You On Home Turf Too


When we first told family and friends about our intentions to take our family on a 1yr backpacking trip across South East Asia, we were surprised by the negativity we received.  Some people even went so far as to say that we ‘were going to get the children killed’, especially by going to some of the developing countries on our itinerary.

In our day and age, on one hand the world is a ‘smaller place’ due to ease and accessibility of travel.  Yet on the other, the threat of terrorism and general fear of the unknown while traveling, particularly with a family, keep most people from chasing their dreams.  Other excuses such as waiting until the children get older or for more financial security also crop up.

But this past weekend, a day after returning home from our wonderful family holiday in Bali, we got some life-changing news:  my only sister was killed in a freak accident.  It happened in Canada, a ‘safe’ country, while going for a leisurely drive in the country with her family.

At 36 years of age, she has been taken from this world much too soon. 



But it gives me some peace to know she led a fulfilling life, full of zest and a sense of adventure --a life with no regrets, especially after the long awaited birth of her 2 boys.  She had a great education that led to a successful career, through which she met her future husband. They both loved to travel and even took a year off to visit places of their dreams such as Africa, South America, Europe, Egypt, India, SE Asia, China, and Australia.  Even after their first child was born, she and her husband made the 20ish hour journey to visit us in Australia, with child in tow. And after the recent birth of their second child, they travelled by air to San Diego for a holiday.  They were even on a short-getaway at the time of her death.  She didn’t do things by half-measures, and always did her best by all the people she knew and loved.  Above all, she loved her husband and children the most.

With Auntie in Melbourne, December 2010 just before we left on our trip.

All the cliché’s in life are true:  ‘Life is too short’; ‘Only the good die young’;  ‘Live life to the fullest’;  ‘You only live once’;  ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself’.




Try to not put off chasing your dreams, especially if it is to travel the world.  But most importantly make time for the people and the things that you love.  Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you-- bad things can happen to you anywhere, anytime.  As the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) put it, her accident was ‘an act of God’.  I know He will take care of her now; may she rest in peace.


With her precious family just a month prior to her death.


17 comments:

  1. My thoughts are with you and your sister's family.

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  2. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss.
    -Nishu

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss. A harsh reminder of how precious life is.

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I have followed your blog but never commented before. We are currently on a year of travel with my four children and have found so many of your posts so useful. Thanks for sharing and may God comfort you at this difficult time.

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    1. Thanks Elaine. I hope you are enjoying your trip!

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  5. I am so sorry to read this. Your sister sounds like an amazing woman, sister, wife, mother, person. I hope that you are surrounded in love and support at this time. Thinking of you, your family and especially your brother in law and nephews.

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    1. Thank you--my sister really was an amazing woman who was taken too soon.

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  6. My sympathies to you and your family. I have heard how fully your sister embraced life. I actually run with a mom-friend who lives next door to your late sister's family.

    I stumbled upon your blog today via a few other family travel blogs. My husband and I are planning a world adventure with our three children in 2014. I am grateful for the families who blog and share so many resources and ideas.
    Catharine

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    1. Catharine--I am so glad that you found us, but what a small world it is! Please email me directly--would love to hear more about your plans and about 'our connection'.

      xo

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  7. Jessica,
    I am so sorry and sad to hear this news. I see how much you love and respect your sister. I am amazed and in awe of you that in this difficult time, you can see the positive and celebrate her life. I am sending you a lot of love, prayers and blessings.
    -Lauren (from NYC whom you gave LOADS of great advice to)

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    1. Thanks Lauren--good to hear from you again.

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  8. My prayers of comfort go out to you and your loved ones - thank you for sharing your journey of life with us, your sister will live on through your travels and positive living!

    Stay Blessed!

    Bernard

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  9. Sending your family much aloha. From experience, I know the wound stays fresh, especially so soon after as you go through different kinds of milestones ("One year since...", "This would've been the day that..."). But experience has also taught me that we can overcome and find meaningful ways to let even the deepest sorrows transform us and even grant us peace. Life is still beautiful. Your sister was a shining example of that, and families are forever.

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    1. Thanks for your aloha Tiare, you are very right about the different milestones, but i know it will that will become less acute with time. yes, life is still beautiful, and i have many blessings despite the many heartaches. x

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