Guest blogger Mariko Kisada Kinikin, a member of the A Nun’s Life community, writes the second in a series of three blog posts on “Road Trip Retreat.” We invite you to journey along with Mariko and consider the “road trip” retreats and landmarks of your life.

Part 2 – Say it NOW

Never Let the SunsetLast year, deep in Canada’s Yukon Territory, I dislocated my ribs fixing my car on the side of the road.  I didn’t know it at the time; actually, I thought I was having a heart attack.  I had to drive 600 miles to the nearest town with a doctor.

When I got to Dawson Creek, none of the doctors would squeeze me in, until I came to a little office tucked in the back alley of a strip mall.  The chiropractor moved around her appointments to get me seen right away and jammed my ribs back into place.  She had me come back periodically throughout the day and adjusted more parts of my upper body until she was satisfied that I’d live.  I forgot to take her business card, and so the thank you letter I had planned never made it.

I sought her out on this trip back through the Yukon, and brought a card and candies from Hawaii as a thank you.  But the office was now a forestry service office and they informed me that she had closed up shop and moved away the month before because business was slow, and she couldn’t afford the lease.  I left with card and candy, kicking myself for not just mailing it when I had the chance.  It made me remember the fight I had with my best friend, Jen, and the fatal car crash that robbed me of my chance to make up with her.

Why do we wait?  Why can’t we just say the things that need to be said right away?  The doctor will never know how she pretty much saved my life, Jen will never know how sorry I was that the fight was really a misunderstanding.  I had no good reason to wait, yet, I did, and then the chance evaporated.

Saint Paul said, “Never let the sun set on your anger.” I’m learning never to let the sun set on expressing my gratitude.

Nun Note: Be sure to check out Part I of Road Trip Retreat: Philalaska. Watch for Mariko’s next blog post on Thursday as she posts the concluding piece in the blog post series about her journey home to Alaska.

UPDATE: Here’s the concluding post of A Road Trip Retreat … Part 3 Bugs and Footprints.

We’d love to hear your reflections on this “road trip retreat” … what thoughts pop up for you? Any similar stories or aspirations?