Five years ago, at a laundromat in Alpine Texas, the cell phone rang.
BROTHER: “Tom is dead.”
ME: [pause…] “How do you know?”
Overnight, Tom had died from a massive heart attack. My older brother found him dead in bed. His first call was to me. We were camping at Davis Mountains State Park Fourth of July Week and had driven the 30+ miles over to Alpine for groceries and laundry. Home was a solid eight hour drive away. We would have to board our dogs, make last minute airline reservations, find a hotel and arrange for a car.
We have experienced other family emergencies that have cut short our travel. Not willing to stay home waiting for the next disaster to strike, we have had to come up with a contingency plan of sorts. We now take funeral clothes camping. We also carry dog shot records so we can board the dogs in a kennel if needed.
Emergencies are easy to deal with when within a day’s drive of home. Depending on the emergency, when further out, air travel may be the best bet. Then the rest is getting to a city with an airport and making appropriate travel arrangements.
We all still miss Tom. Each of us still thinks about him daily. Tom was the glue that kept us all together. Miss you brother!
Hope to see you on the road ahead!