Most of the time we go about our lives not expecting the worst to happen. Bumps come along and we deal with them. My life hit a bump and then it hit a mountain.
Last October, I was still traveling when I was struck by a bad case of vertigo. The first episode of it happened in Barcelona. It was so bad, I went to the emergency room while I was there. They gave me a shot and it helped for awhile. For the next week, I seemed to be fine as explored Porto. By the third day in Lisbon vertigo had returned. It was even worse than before. I couldn’t eat because I felt so sick to my stomach and I couldn’t write because looking at the computer made it worse. I got out a few times but spent most of the week in bed. Not the best way to see Lisbon.
My trip was supposed to last about two more weeks but I wasn’t getting better and I really did not want to go to the emergency room in Portugal. (I am sure it would have been fine, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at that point.) I canceled the rest of my reservations and rebooked my ticket home for as soon as American Airlines could get me on the next plane. I was disappointed but was happy to already have a doctor’s appointment for when I returned.
Not all Bad
The bright side in all of this was I had met someone in Greece in September who happened to be from my hometown and still lived relatively close to my parent’s house where I would be returning at the end of my trip.
While it wasn’t love at first sight, it was love by the second date. Unfortunately, he had to return to the US for work and I continued on my way to Malta. We talked every day, sometimes for hours. I wanted to come back early, but he wanted me to finish the trip. We had already made plans to travel when I returned home. I knew I had found the right man for me. He was caring, thoughtful and loved to travel. I never thought I would meet someone while traveling let alone someone from my hometown. I especially never thought that I would fall madly in love like in the movies.
The whirlwind romance continued when I returned home. He met my family and I met his son. I was going to go to school in January and he was extremely supportive of that.
Four days after Thanksgiving, I woke to several missed phone calls and texts from his son and one of his friends. When I called his son back, he immediately asked me if his Dad was with me and I, regretfully, had to say no.
He then explained that his Dad’s house was on fire and they couldn’t find him. I asked if his truck was at the house and his son said yes. My heart sank. If his truck was there, I knew he was in the house. I tried to stay calm for his son’s sake and offered to come over but the street was blocked off because of all the firetrucks. I fell apart after we got off the phone. Even though it wasn’t confirmed yet, I knew he was gone.
It took several more hours for the fire to be put out enough for the fire department to look for his body. Later we found out he died of carbon monoxide poisoning and not from the fire, which was a blessing in my mind as he had no idea what happened to him. To this day, we don’t know what cause the fire and we may never know. This is so hard to deal with as I really want to know how the fire started and how just hours before we were both in the house and everything was fine.
I am telling you all this for several reasons. One is to let you all know why I just disappeared with no explanation. I had planned on taking a break when I got home because my love for blogging had waned and then vertigo made it difficult. I do miss blogging and am hoping to get back to it soon.
I am writing also to tell you how important it is to have a carbon monoxide detector in your house. I don’t know if it would have saved my love’s life, but it could help save yours or your loved one’s life. We installed one in my parent’s house and I have encouraged all my friends to do the same. Please get one and check your smoke detector batteries at the same time.
Most importantly to remind you that our time is short and we never know when we could go or when it might be the last time we talk to someone. I know, in theory, we all know this but we take it for granted that bad things could never happen to us. Fortunately, I had told him I loved him that day several times and we had been texting just an hour or so before this happened. I have no regrets just struggling with his absence on a daily basis and what to do with myself now that all our plans will no longer happen.
Take the time to tell your loved one that you love them often and never take any day for granted. I hope to be back to blogging on a more regular basis soon.