It was the Grand Canyon...and I wept.
I think this comes up for me now because I am the same age as was my Dad when he unexpectedly died from a post op infection. He was a kind and gentle man and a wonderful model of honesty and integrity. I miss him to this day.
More to the point: Dad did not have a great deal of education. He worked hard and did eventually retire. His travel was extremely limited, but he always alluded to things he would do..."one day". It was like the bucket list folks talk about today. Jump ahead (about 25 years back from today) and we find my wife, two little daughters and myself going to Colorado. We rent a car and make the hot drive upward and stay overnight in a motel. The next day we will see the Grand Canyon.
We drive into the Park's parking lot, and I look around. "There's no canyon around here," I tell my wife. She, the all knowing, just smiles. We go into the little rangers building, look at maps and brochures and then follow a sign with an arrow and the promise, "This way to the canyon." Out the screen door we go. I am disappointed by both the flat view and the crummy pine trees that greet me. Maybe, I suggest, we are on the wrong path. My wife nods for me to go on. I don't realize it but she and the girls are holding back. I walk among the scrawny trees with no idea of what is ahead. Then the trees stop, I see it and my knees buckle. Suddenly, my face is covered in tears.
In front of me is one of the wonders of the world, an awesome sight of depth, color and magnitude. I stand there weeping as I...me...scan the vast expanse of the canyon. I am looking at one of the things my Dad was going to see...one day...and never did. So, I seeing it for him.
I do not know how many more years (or days) I have left. No matter. I just want you to know that you have my permission to remind me of this story should I ever put you off with "one day".