Reflecting by Rick Crandall,posted Jul 23 2012 9:21AM
At some point last night, after I quit watching endless hours of news coverage about the tragedy of the day and reading every news bulletin on the internet, I walked out into my backyard in Aurora, Colorado and sat for a minute. It was a warm summer night with ton of stars out. And it was quiet. And it only added more confusion to the day. It was so peaceful it was impossible to believe that hell had visited earth three miles from where I was sitting. In fact it was easy to think, no this didn't really happen. Then when Diane and I awoke this morning and turned on the TV the first words we heard were, "live from Aurora, Colorado, site of the horrific theater shooting..." Yea, it happened, and the place where I had my first kiss and married my high school sweetheart, the place where we raised two daughters and the place where we've always been happy to come home to, no matter how exotic the trip we've been on, that place is forever changed. I don't know how long it will take but some day the sounds you hear in my hometown will be laughter instead of crying. There will be songs of celebration instead of hymns of grief. There will be first kisses and not last kisses. God Bless you Aurora, Colorado and all those who are in such great pain today. We will heal together.
Have you heard all the talk about the end of the world coming on December 21st of this year because the Mayan Calendar ends on that date? I don’t think there’s much to it myself and figure it was just a case of George the Mayan Calendar maker deciding he wanted a different line of work so he quit one day after he reached December 21, 2012. No, I’m not worried about that day, but I am excited about another day and I want you to save the date. On my way into work this morning a voice started speaking to me. It was 4:10am and I was in the car all alone on I-225, in desperate need of my first cup of coffee and the voice said May 23rd, 2025. Now I must admit over the years I’ve been accused of hearing lots of things, or thinking I heard lots of things. There was that time I was sure Diane said, "Rick, buy yourself a new convertible" when apparently what she really said was, "Rick, buy that car and you’ll be sleeping in it." Good thing the back seat was a bench seat. Anyway, this voice seemed pretty real so I said, "what did you say?", and the voice said, "5-23-25". You’ll retire on 5-23-25. And with that the voice stopped talking and I rode the rest of the way to work in silence reflecting on what had just happened to me.
It’s amazing the voice came to me when it did because I’ve been thinking about what retirement would look like for me a lot lately. I’m not ready to actually be retired I’m just excited about the thought of it happening some day. I’ve been slowly starting to talk with Diane about what that might be like and she has shot back looks that seem to say, are you out of your mind??? So, I’ve been picking my places carefully to bring it up. Look, I’m going to be 56 this year and I like to think there’s a possibility that some day I might be able to enjoy waking up whenever…having breakfast for lunch and wearing black socks with sandals just because I can. I want to go to McDonalds and pay for my coffee with penny’s and ask for seven refills. I want to shop at the grocery store at 10:30am on Wednesday when everyone else is at work. And my biggest dream of all is I want to have a small cabin in the mountains that only Diane, the dogs and I know how to get to. And now, thanks to the voice, I know when that will be. Friday, May 23rd, 2025. I’ll be 67 then and Medicare eligible. It’ll be the Memorial Day weekend and what better time for me to call it quits than with a show that time of year. The Breakfast Club will be 32-years old and people will be tired o me. So, save the date. We’re going to have one heck of a party that day, unless the voice said something else and I misunderstood!!!