At around 60 years old I found myself seeing an oncologist and thinking my life had slipped away. I had sorrow and regret which surprised me because I would have said that I believed in celebrating everyday and treating each day as a gift. It can to me that there were things I wanted to do, ways I wanted to live that I had completely ignored. One of those things was a lifelong desire to visit the Holyland.
Life got in the way. I recovered from the cancer. I try not to think about it these days. I changed around my life and retired. I am way closer to 65 than 60 these days. One of the first things on my to do list as a retiree was revival of that dream to walk where Jesus walked. The parish I was joining had a pilgrimage coming up. I wouldn't be alone, I would be with future friends. I would be going with a priest who knew my name. So, I signed up. It seemed too good to be true. It seemed like a miracle.
I don't know if I really completely believed it would happen. I prepared, but I held my breath. Without the support of my spiritual director, my siblings, and my friends I probably wouldn't have gone. I developed an eye problem that concerns me, but it didn't stop me from going.
Anyway, on January 12th I drove over to the church and caught a ride to the airport and with 33 of my closest friends, began the journey of a lifetime. We flew to Chicago. The flight was delayed, so we had to hurry to the next gate to catch the flight to Frankfurt. We made it. On my way for the pilgrimage of my dreams.