These are three words used to describe my friend and colleague, Brigitte Gann, who lost her battle w/ ALS on June 16, 2013. As the world continues to spin around I’m reminded that in the end, it’s what we give in our life that matters, not what we’ve achieved. How we use our time determines our priorities. Last week I was at my OBGYN’s office and one of the nurses said she was from Siler City – I asked her if she had ever been to the Flatwoods Festival in Bennett and she told me it was being held on September 7th. I said, “I haven’t been in years and I really wanted to go.”

How many times have you thought of something you wanted to do and life got in the way? Well, not this time – I packed a lunch for my daughter so after her soccer game at Bryan Park we took off down 421 headed towards Siler City….I had cash in my wallet for the vendors and our first priority – find an ice cream truck. You see my parents moved to Bennett in the late 90’s and every year, people drove down Pecan Trail by “Doc’s” house to park and attend the festival of tractor pulls, music, crafts, barbeque – you get the picture. Good country fun and being from West Virginia – I was READY! As we drove down the dusty, gravel road – no balloons, no fanfare, no cars – just 3 dogs (2 of which didn’t look happy to see us) I said to my daughter, “Looks like they moved the festival this year. Let’s drive into town and ask someone.” As I glanced over at the farm house my dad renovated with the cool green tin roof, the fish pond he created, the old vines from his asparagus plantings, I smiled….remembering our great times on the farm. I loved teasing my dad about selling his Greensboro Country Club membership to join the Siler City Country Club just so he could wear overalls while playing golf!

We headed into Bennett and saw orange cones for parking, balloons, slides – and an ice cream truck – we had arrived… we walked across the street my eye caught a silver jewelry vendor and then pottery – my favorite! I hadn’t been there 5 minutes when a guy jumped up from his lawn chair and said, “Murreekay?” I looked over – gave him a HUGE “Well, HEY!” A hug and a smile followed – it was Doug – a good friend of my parents, my mother had tutored his son after school for a few years. Seconds later he said, “Let me go find Razor, I know he’s here somewhere.” Razor was Doug’s father – another close friend of my parents – he appeared, we embraced and my tears started flowing – I told him later that day that he had and Doug had “made my year.”

I promised Doug that I wouldn’t be a stranger and thought to myself – “No matter how busy the calendars got, I need to be at the Flatwoods Festival every year.” What do you need to make a priority that you keep putting on the back burner? I know I need to shift not only some priorities, but also the way I look at certain things. Sometimes we get stuck in our mindset about situations, people, goals – we need to shake things up – change our perspective. The Flatwoods Festival reminded me that we can’t put off today the things that we need to do that are important in our life.