A friend made a mistake
that proved to be costly
… financially and emotionally.

She became angry and upset with herself.
Recently I made a mistake
and the words I’d written to her
… “I want you to take a deep breath.
… I want you to stop dumping on yourself.
… I want you to realize that Every. Single. Person makes mistakes.”
echoed in my own ear.

To mark the first anniversary of my husband’s death
I planned a special time of visiting friends, B & B’s
at a retreat centre we had both enjoyed
and learning a new art technique
…. eco-printing.

What was my mistake?
… I didn’t purchase cancellation insurance.

It never dawned on me to do that for this trip.
The retreat centre, friends and B & B’s were in Canada and in the same province!
And besides, I was healthy so why would I cancel?

The day of the trip arrived.
In the wee hours of the morning,
I loaded the car and headed to the ferry terminal and
for about an hour, wandered through outdoor boutiques and craft booths.

Soon after being on the ferry
… I started feeling dizzy and nauseated and disoriented.
I knew I had to lie down.

The next thing I knew
… I was in a wheelchair and being taken to the infirmary
where the crew member asked me questions like
… “Did you eat breakfast?”    Yes.
… “Are you diabetic?”  No.
… “Are you going to continue the trip or go home?”  Go on the trip.

But as I rested and prayed, I knew the decision I had to make
… Go home.
I didn’t know if the dizziness would return while I was driving
and was concerned that if I continued on my trip
I might cause an accident, hurt someone or myself.

The decision wasn’t easy

For health reasons, it was the right decision.
… but financially as the French would say: “pas de tout”
I’d not taken out cancellation insurance!
… everything had been planned, booked and fully paid for, for months.
No refunds.

There was nothing I could do about it except
… learn from the mistake.

I didn’t beat myself up about the mistake
… though I was tempted

As I rested on the ferry trip back to Victoria
a peace descended in my mind and heart
as I heard somewhere deep within me
… “Mistakes can’t be changed, but they can teach.”

Note to self
… stay out of the sun and high temperatures

Getting hydrated and lying down
and making the decision to come home
avoided potentially serious health issues.

Now I’m home
… staying hydrated
… keeping out of the sun and heat

I will always get cancellation insurance from now on
… even if travelling and making reservations in my home Province.

This is one mistake I won’t make again.
It taught me well.  

May I always remember
… “mistakes can’t be changed but they can teach.” 



Text and Photo © June Maffin

<Flowers in vase compliments of birds who dropped seeds in the back yard over the winter>

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