I started to tear up as soon as the mini motor-home passed by me as I was driving out of my neighborhood this morning. I turned and happened to follow the camper for at least half a mile; before it took a different route. By this time, tears were streaming down my face. Following the camper was a sign, a sign from my parents.
Today, November 11, 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of my Mother’s death, earlier this week, November 8th, was the four year anniversary of my Father’s passing. So, for me, this second week in November will always be a very difficult span of time. Losing both parents in the course of one year was terribly difficult for my entire immediate family, but for my sister and I, most heart-wrenching.
Following that camper, this morning really was a sign from Mom and Dad, as our family had several different campers from 1976-to the mid 1990s. The camper from this morning was a mini motor-home, tan in color, like our last camper, a 1983 Winnebago Warrior. I imagined that if my parents were still alive and a bit younger, they would have loved to vacation in the camper which, incidentally had Florida license plates. Dad, Mom, Cheryl and I visited Florida twice, once in 1977 with the truck camper and again in 1981 with the Midas mini-motor home.
In addition to the Florida trips, we had numerous family vacations via camper to, Missouri, Washington, D.C., Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Louisiana, Pennsylvannia and California to name a few. We even made it to Canada and Mexico on camper vacations! The memories from these trips are as varied as the states we saw. Dad making the camper “fly” in Texas……being scared out of my skin by a Peeping Tom in Philadelphia……spending Easter Sunday in the back of a gas station while the camper got repaired and celebrating my seventh birthday in Florida.
The sign of seeing a camper and coincidentally following it this morning made me think about the example my parents set in their lives. Am I following their sterling example of a strong religious faith, devotion to family and emphasis on education? Have I lived my life these past five years in a way that would make them proud? Am I focusing on the good times rather than the bad? Am I raising my kids with the same abundant love, strong morals and educational opportunities that they gave me? I followed a camper for a while this morning; but I will follow my parents’ example forever.