“The Four Corners of the World”

_SunsetEldo (1 of 1) timothy tim roessler

This is a true story, although it almost seems too neat,  too tidy, and too literary in a bad way. But true. See what you think:

Beth was one of those people who are terrified of risks. She kept things as safe as possible. She drove slowly, wore seat belts, followed the rules, and didn’t rock the boat. And Beth certainly never travelled.

Beth had a daughter.

The daughter, as it often happens, was the opposite of her mother: outgoing, adventurous, and eager to see the world. After years of pleading, she finally was allowed to go across the world to New Zealand. After all, she was 21.

The day after she arrived, the daughter was killed in a car crash. Jet lagged and at the wheel, she’d forgotten that they drive on the left lane in New Zealand. She collided head on with another driver.

Back home, Beth sorted through her daughter’s effects. She found a kind of will: a letter her daughter had written in case she died. (A little strange for a 21 year old, but there it was.)

In the letter, she made this request: She wanted her ashes spread in the four corners of the world. And she wanted her mother do spread them.

Beth hesitated. Procrastinated. Tried to figure a way out of the obligation her daughter had given her. But she couldn’t wriggle out of it.

So, she booked a flight to Patagonia. Then to Europe. To Africa. Even to New Zealand.

And along the way, she forgot her fears. After all, the worst had happened. She had survived. She made friends, took pictures, and widened her world beyond all her expectations.

The death of her daughter gave her life. And now she lives it “out loud” — as fully and as intensely as possible.

photo: Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, USA

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