Meet Debra, my bonus Mom. I took this photo of her while riding Amtrak from St. Paul, MN to Glacier Park, MT. It was a 24-hour overnight train. While we saw Debra many times a year, this was the last real adventure we took with her. What I love most about this picture is the irony. As a train enthusiast, I can tell you that people that ride Amtrak do not look like this.
Our train left St. Paul five hours late, so we boarded the train around 2am. There were seven of us traveling together and we had reserved small bunk rooms for our trip. The issue with getting on the train in the middle of the night is that people were trying to sleep, and the attendants were trying to figure out where all seven us were supposed to be...quickly.
We were crammed in a small hallway during "quiet hours" and Debra and I got a big case of the giggles. Not church giggles but train giggles. We laughed until we cried and had to sit down so that we both didn't pee. I recall laughing so hard that I eventually was laying on my back in this narrow hallway, giving our train attendants even more reason to worry about us.
I didn't sleep much that night as we had kids spread out in several different bunkrooms and if you know anything about train travel in the U.S., there is good reason they warn you to always accompany children.
When I think of Debra, I think of the words be not afraid. She was open to anything. It didn't matter what it was, she went all in. It didn't matter what the occasion was, she showed up looking good. This picture was taken after a rough night of sleep where she shared a single bunk bed with Charles.
Debra, Thank you for living your dash and not being afraid to live it big and well.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.