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Journal from Spain - Words of Wisdom

Greenies_090111In this last journal entry from my trip to Spain, I would like to share a few words of wisdom that a fellow tour-mate left with me when we parted. I am going to call her Amy here.

Amy was in her seventies. She was a very sweet lady, sensitive and had a great sense of humor. Amy was travelling alone. Although she was still very healthy, her eyesight had deteriorated over the years, and she had to skip several excursions because walking on uneven grounds sometimes proved too challenging. This limitation did not seem to diminish her spirit at all. I can still see her dancing and lifting her skirt slightly when a nice driver let us cross a busy street one evening.

Amy reminded me of another tour-mate I met in a prior trip to Greece. Let's call him Aaron. Aaron was in his eighties. For his age, he was amazingly strong physically and easily kept up with the rest of the group when walking up and down hills. Unfortunately, his mind was not always with him. He suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and likely had already progressed to the mid- to late-stage of the disease.

I do not really understand how or why Aaron contracted Alzheimer's disease. I only know that he had lost his wife and daughter not too long before the trip. Despite his problems, Aaron remained a very good-natured fellow, and enjoyed himself on the trip. Despite the nonsense that often came from Aaron's troubled mind, I could also see an ironic logic in his thoughts. He no longer had anything to lose. So, why not live life fully and enjoy every day as it comes for as long as he was able?

As I said goodbye to Amy in Spain, she told me that she was leaving for Paris, where she would spend a few days alone before joining another tour. I asked Amy if she knew the language. She said no, and leaned forward to explain that her father once told her, "We only live once. We will be dead for a long time". I hope that she is enjoying herself in Paris now.

While this goodbye with Amy concluded my trip in Spain, it also marked the beginning of a new life-long journey for me - learning to live my life more fully.

Where to next?