“With every broken bone, I swear I lived.” –One Republic

Why blow off two weeks of paying work to go to Europe with my mother? I was asked about this more than once over the last few months. Folks have opinions, and in this day and age we aren’t shy about sharing them. Most folks thought it was silly to take that long of a trip when I didn’t have paid vacation time. In a lot of ways, they were right. I mean it means several weeks of working harder to catch up. It means some sleepless nights. I means stress.

So what? I won’t be on my death bed saying I should have worked harder or skipped out on time with people I care about. I won’t regret patiently extending my arm for Mom to grab as we navigated the cobbles of Venice. I wont regret seeing her face light up as we explored a new church, and looked at works of art that you can normally only see in text books. I won’t regret watching her absolute joy at seeing the exchange student who made a profound impact on her life. I won’t regret those moments.

She has always done her best to live a life with minimal regrets. She’s helped to pass that legacy along to me. She learned the lesson from her friend Rusty.

Rusty Mitchell was a fixture of my life over the years. She was friends with my mother through work at the local newspaper. Rusty was a character. She visited Mexico multiple times in her retirement, and drove a black Ford Mustang. She climbed the steps of Machu Pichu in her 60s. She lived an amazing life. In in her later years, Mom has helped care for Rusty as she slowly declined.

On Tuesday of this week, Rusty Mitchell of Colorado Springs passed away in her sleep. She was 92. Here’s to a life lived.

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