His Gift to Me

Discussion in 'Best Wishes/Remembrances for Loved Ones & Friends' started by psalmist121, May 30, 2017.

  1. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    HIS GIFT TO ME

    Many years ago, I rented a pop-up camper for a family reunion and it was the most fun I'd had in many years. That was the beginning of an itch that would need scratching for years to come. He wanted a motorcycle and I wanted a camper. About five years ago, my dear husband finally had enough wining when I told him I couldn't wait to camp any longer. He appeased me by going to an RV dealer and then assured me we could find a better deal on Craig's List. We found a used 2002 Coleman/Fleetwood Yuma for about $3200. The reason the owner was selling his my camper? Ironically, his wife finally said he could have a motorcycle if he sold the camper first. I think my husband almost cried as he handed him all of my piggy bank and part of his.

    To some degree, my husband learned to enjoy camping, but never as much as I did. Eventually, I bought him the motorcycle he always wanted, learned to ride myself, and in the process of making each other happy, we enjoyed many rides, as well as camping trips together.

    Healthy independence had always been one of the keys to our happy marriage of 38 years. Knowing my husband didn't want to camp as much as I did, last year I asked him if he'd show me how to set up the camper by myself so I could go whenever the mood struck. If he wanted to join, he could and I would handle the jobs of setting up and taking it down.

    On Saturday, April 30th 2016, my husband showed me every aspect of set-up and take-down, including info about the hitch, lessons about backing up, and tips on parking. I took detailed notes and practiced everything one time all the way through all by myself. Four days later, I had a reservation at a State Park about an hour out of town, where I would have my first shot at camping by myself. Everything went pretty good if you don't take into consideration the power went out in the park for several hours while I was setting up due to a severe thunderstorm, and the sink gasket had a leak that I didn't know about until after I got my lights back at around 12:30 Pm.

    The following night, curiosity got the best of DH and he just had to come out to the campground to see how I did. Being only an hour out of town, he rode his motorcycle. When he arrived he ate dinner, enjoyed the campfire, and then in spite of my begging him to stay, insisted on riding back that night, only to return the following night to spend the weekend (Mother's Day & my birthday) camping with me.

    He only made it five minutes down the road when a 73 year old man who was not paying any attention, pulled out in front of him. That was the last time I saw my dear, sweet husband.

    It's been a little over a year since he was killed and I have to say that teaching me how take my pop-up out on my own was one of the BEST gifts he ever gave me. I've camped a few times in the past year and have a trip planned in his honor over Father's Day. Of course, I miss him terribly, but appreciate all the little (and big) things he did to make my camping experiences as easy and trouble free as possible.

    If camping is as close to your heart as it is mine, then you know the 'aah' moment of sitting back in your camp chair under the awning, knowing it was worth all the trouble. Between the crackle of the campfire and the orchestra of insects, there's no better therapy for the soul. One day equals two, food tastes twice as good, and sleep was never more sound. If you have a partner who loves to camp, you're blessings were somehow doubled. Thank them for doing 'real life' with you. If you don't, thank the Lord for where He has you in this season of life and that you're able to camp in the first place. But whatever you do, don't stop camping, even if you go it alone. There are plenty of friendly folks, as well as families who love to share their embers. Make it a goal to camp on a monthly basis because... we need to do it to survive.

    Until I see him in heaven and can thank him personally, I'll say 'thank you' by camping in his honor. It was his gift to me.
    In memory of my dear husband :)
     
    tfischer, Orchid, StageLover and 19 others like this.
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    WI
    That's an amazing story, I give you a lot of credit for carrying on!! One of the many reasons I camp is to help carry on (and remember) the memories & traditions my step-father instilled and helped build. May you have many enjoyable trips to come!!
     
    psalmist121 likes this.
  4. theyellowbeard

    theyellowbeard Active Member

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    Sep 18, 2016
    Cary Illinois
    A beautiful story.
     
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  5. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    I love your username and I love your attitude about the hand that you've been dealt. SO many people tend to get mired down in their circumstances, but you've chosen to rise above. Kudos to you and God Bless You!
     
    WannaTravel and psalmist121 like this.
  6. tls2971

    tls2971 Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2017
    Lexington, KY
    Gosh, that made me cry, happy and sad tears. God Bless you for continuing to camp and God Bless your dear husband for teaching you to do it on your own. That's a good man who takes the time to teach and the time to set you up for future trips.
     
    psalmist121 likes this.
  7. thelmuth

    thelmuth Member

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    Nov 6, 2015
    Brooksville, FL
    Thanks a lot for making a grown man cry. Beautiful story and outlook on life.
     
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  8. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Aug 28, 2012
    SW Montana
    "Between the crackle of the campfire and the orchestra of insects, there's no better therapy for the soul."

    Best. Line. Ever!!! So sorry for your loss. As an avid biker (dirt, that is), I can appreciate his desire to ride and do his own thing. As an avid camper (so I can dirt bike more often), I can also appreciate your desires. My wife doesn't like my hobbies very much, but she goes out on occasion with me. Just makes me cherish those moments all the more. We attend a family reunion camping trip every summer and its the one time she actually looks forward to being with relatives and camping at the same time. Good luck on your future trips. Bless you for remembering the little things about him. That's what counts.
     
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  9. goincampin

    goincampin New Member

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    May 1, 2017
    Oh my gosh....crying as I read this. I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you have such a wonderful last memory with your dear husband. Bless you.
     
    psalmist121 likes this.
  10. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Active Member

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    Jul 18, 2015
    North Syracuse, New York
    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely remembrance of your husband. What a wonderful gift he gave you.
     
    psalmist121 likes this.
  11. R+K

    R+K Member

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    May 17, 2016
    Iowa
    Oh, Psalmist121, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I too love your username. It is so good to know that you know 'where your help comes from'. I pray that you may know the Lord's closeness as you travel through this hard season and I also pray that camping may continue to be a comfort for you.

    Blessings!
     
    WannaTravel likes this.
  12. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My pleasure :)
     
  13. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thanks, I plan to camp as often as I can, making NEW memories, as well as keeping the old :)
     
  14. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thank you so much; writing seems to be therapeutic :)
     
  15. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    There doesn't seem to be a choice about sitting in the mire or moving on. I'm past the hardest part and it's time for me to pick up where 'we' left off. Blessings to you!
     
  16. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Tha
    Thank you... he was very patient with me. I will always be grateful to him :) God Bless you too!
     
    tls2971 likes this.
  17. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thank you- I am more grateful each time I camp. I'm trying to make plans to camp about once a month. It's always good to have something to look forward to. After almost 25 years of homeschooling, I was looking forward to easing back and enjoying life with him. Yes, I've taken a year to stand still and grieve, but now, the unwritten chapters must be penned. It's time to pick up and start living again. God Bless!
     
  18. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Sorry to make you cry but you must have needed it. Blessings!
     
  19. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    'Psalmist' is because I sing for Him. I had an old song, but now 'He has put a new song in my mouth.' Thank you for your words of encouragement and God Bless you!
     
    WannaTravel likes this.
  20. psalmist121

    psalmist121 Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Yes, it truly was the best gift he ever gave me. I laminated the instructions and carry them with me, hoping one day to have it down pat! Bless you :)
     

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