Hafemania: Daring to Soar

I’ve written some exciting posts. Being featured on Miss Minimalist and interviewing the Fly Lady were certainly up there.

But writing about Hafemania is a different sort of honor.

Remember my friend Bridget, of Living a Life Inspired? Her husband received a double lung transplant days after we lost my husband’s mother. They were given the gift of more time. However, after not hearing much from them, we read in Bridget’s blog that Jason was rejecting his new lungs. Their gift of time was not going to be as long as they had hoped.

So we know how the story will end. But, really, we all how our stories will end, we just don’t know when. And that’s not the important part. What is important is how we deal with the here-and-now.

And so it is with Bridget and Jason.

β€œFor the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.”
― Richard Bode, First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living

Even in the beginning of the summer, there was no remaining on shore. They scheduled a private movie showing for all of their friends. We tried to set up a meet-up in Traverse City, but the week we spent weathered in at Presque Isle threw off our timing. So they had a romantic getaway in Mackinaw City instead.

Then, their friends began to plan a trip. They asked people to chip in.
And chip in, people did. All of Jason and Bridget’s friends helped where they could, and put together an awesome itinerary, based on Jason’s “bucket list” of things he wanted to see and do in his lifetime.

So, this is the story of Hafemania (based on their last name, Hafelein), an adventure that rivals our summer journeying in every way. I am telling the story based on their trip itinerary and pictures that their friends and traveling companions took. I use pictures, because you need to see this couple in order to understand them. You’ll see that the are not in need of any pity–Yes, feel sorry for them because they aren’t going to have the time that they deserve, but understand that they are making the most of every moment. And you’ll see that they are not artificially stoic in the face of tragic circumstances. They are people–a happy couple who was blessed to meet each other–playing the hand they were dealt. They have lived every moment of their time together, rather than frittering so much of it away, as many of us are guilty of doing. And here they are, still adventuring. They are definitely not on the shore, “paralyzed with fear.” They are, indeed, daring to soar, both literally and figuratively. We all would do well to take a lesson from them and do the same.

August 21 – early morning: Depart Midland, MI
afternoon: VIP tour of Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY
evening: tour of Cumberland Falls in General Lee (Dukes of Hazzard car)
dinner at Original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Corbin, KY
evening: overnight in Corbin, KY

While they had originally been planning on flying to Florida, they had to drive due to Jason’s lung issues. His respiratory therapist was their chaffeur, and they had plenty of friends along to take pictures!

Bridget: The cast from the Dukes of Hazard actually sat and ssigned the inside of three car…it was cool!

August 22 – early morning: Depart Corbin, KY
late morning: fire H&K MP5 automatic rifle at Coal Creek Armory indoor
firing range in Knoxville, TN
9 pm: arrive in Orlando, FL

One interview of many…

August 23 – early morning: drive to John F. Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island,
Florida to watch launch of Atlas V rocket, tour JFK Space Center Museum
mid-morning: drive to Cocoa Beach, FL
late morning/noon: return to Orlando for rest
late afternoon: day at Universal Studios
5 pm: backstage meet & greet with wrestlers at Impact Wrestling
8 pm: Impact Wrestling taping
11 pm-?: “CLASSIFIED” – per Jason. LOL

August 24 – 9 am: Jason & Bridget arrive at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
9 pm: Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom
10 pm: Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom
10 pm-11 am: “Extra Magic Hours” at Magic Kingdom

August 25 – 11 am: arrive at Star Wars Celebration for meet & greets and “something
special” from the 501st Stormtrooper Legion
6:30 pm: arrive at KSA Rode in Kissimmee, FL

August 26 – late morning: depart Orlando for Atlanta, GA.
late afternoon: optional stop at World of Coca Cola
early evening: dinner at world-famous drive-in The Varsity
9 pm: arrive for overnight stay n Sevierville, TN

August 27 – late morning: Monster Truck ride and helicopter tour at Outdoor
Adventures of the Smokies in Sevierville, TN
early afternoon: lunch at Calhoun’s Restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN
late afternoon: rest
6:30 pm: optional visit to Tennessee Smokies baseball game in Kodak, TN
overnight stay in Sevierville, TN OR return to Midland, MI

So, that was Bridget and Jason’s adventure. What can we take from it? Well, first of all, Jason didn’t want to spend more time at work, or more time cleaning his house. The important things to him were spending time adventuring with his wife and friends. As humans, we are by nature social creatures, but we often forget that in the day-to-day grind of work (in and outside of the home). We need to make friends and family more of a priority than they are. In our case, it was the social interactions that make cruising on Moonraker such a joy, and we have decided to make an effort to see our friends more often, at least once a month.

Second, we must notice the power of dreams. Dreams are the things adventures are made of. Like Bridget and Jason, we should never, never stop dreaming, even when the circumstances seem bleaker than ever. It’s not about smiling when you want to cry. It’s not about hiding your true self under false stoicism. It’s about being brave enough to live as long as there is life inside of you. To truly live: to do the things you’ve only dreamed of, to go where you’ve never gone before.

We all have life. So let’s get out and live it!

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