Random Thoughts

Not wanting to get too far away from the airport, Shannon and I decided to turn yesterday into a productive day at the hotel.  We checked out and set up camp in the lobby.  Shannon got caught up on some work stuff while I got caught up on our finances (not easy from the road).  Later in the afternoon, we made our way to the airport and boarded on time.  However, shortly after boarding, we were de-boarded due to “faulty relays.”  We were loaded onto a different plane and made it to Atlanta, but missed our connecting flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.  AirTran set us up with a hotel in Atlanta for the night, but still frustrated at the lost time and inconveniences, I decided to send a letter of complaint.  Some might think that this is ridiculous, but my time is more valuable to me than ever these days.  When I hear back from AirTran, I’ll be sure to post their response.

Hotel Lobby

On a recent flight, the stewardess announced that there was a medical emergency and requested assistance from a licensed physician.  The gentleman next to me raised his hand and was taken to the front of the plane to assist.  The rest of the passengers, alright myself included, were rubber necking and whispering trying to determine what the emergency was about.  This exemplifies a thought that often runs through my head.  I have been told that I am at risk for a blood clot, which I interpret as there is a chance I could keel over anytime with little warning.  So, we’re flying back to Texas to pick back up on the road trip of a lifetime…what’s on my mind as the plane takes off?  What if I died here?  I’ve always avoided making a public scene, and the thought of dying in a public place, like an airplane leaves me very unsettled.  People gasping and gossiping to understand the story that they will be telling their friends for years.  I think about this as I ride my motorcycle down the highway, fly on an airplane, or am clustered into any other public situation.  When the time comes, I think it’s important to me that it be a private, quiet, and peaceful place.

Random Thoughts

Also, lately I’ve developed sort of a dark sense of humor about my condition.  I joke about things like whether or not it makes financial sense to get a new 6 month supply of contacts, or whether I can justify signing a 2 year agreement to get the new iPhone.  This frustrates everyone around me as they find it difficult to respond, but I think it is one of my coping mechanisms.


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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7 Responses to Random Thoughts

  1. Cousin Mike says:

    Good morning, Brett. This may be one of the non-earliest morning comments I’ve left. You’d be proud of my rock and roll lifestyle last night.., Karmen and I had a track meet in Geneva and didn’t get home to Warsaw until after 1am. I read your blog last night around 1:45am, but was too tired. Since I don’t sleep much anymore, here I am at 7:20am. I’d like to get caught up on some things, so I’ll either make this a long comment, or I’ll post several.
    1st, your beard is filling in very nicely. I know that’s a weird first comment, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw your picture.
    2nd, FOR SOME REASON, the way you wrote how you were considering your options and preferences for dying in public (plane, motorcycle, public or private, quiet, and peaceful place) reminded me of the scene from Talladega Nights, where Ricky Bobby and family were debating the form of Jesus they like to pray to (starts on the video at 1:07).

    • Cousin Michelle says:

      Only Mike could find a video from any movie to match whatever your blog of the day is Bret.
      I wouldnt count your cards on hearing back from AirTran Bret, although I have never flown AirTran, from all the travels we have done and inconveniences we have experienced from delays, re-routes, and emergency landings, I never found the customer service on the support side was even close to being caring or considerate.
      Hope you guys made it to Texas safely and are having a good time back with your mom and I think your dad is their now too right?
      Thinking of you.

      • Cousin Mike says:

        It’s a worthless skill of movie pop-culture further showing that I have no social life and don’t get enough sleep. At least this keeps me from thinking about pole vault for a little bit (kinda).

  2. Cousin Mike says:

    It may not be my 3rd thought, but my most recent was that I hope you blasted the airlines in that complaint letter and played the cancer card. I’d love to see them squirm and give you free air travel. You have things to do and people/places to see–they owe you your time back, or at least a nice refund (leave it to a cheap guy like me to COMPLETELY agree with you on this case).
    Speaking of cheap, I found it hilarious how you were considering timelines and expenses. Death is going to be a sensitive topic for several around you in the future. I promise to stay as light hearted as you need me to be. I apologize in advance for offending anyone (either in the past or in the future) with my levity, but I’ll take your lead and suggest others do the same.
    Specifically addressing the buy it or don’t buy it question, I’ll quote uncle Kevin. He’s told me a small handful of times (and anything he says always sticks with me)… “Do it. You’ll find a way and never miss the money.” “Always go bigger than what you need.” He was speaking to me about building projects for our house at the time, but I think they apply to several things in life, as is often the case with messages from uncle Kevin.

  3. Rebeka Fergusson-Lutz says:


    Please forgive me for not writing to you sooner. I first checked your blog about five weeks ago; somehow, through the wonders of social networking sites, the link to your blog ended up in my Inbox. Since then I’ve been mourning, praying, and cheering for you privately from afar. In the past few days, though, I thought it would be worth telling you about the ways in which you have inspired me! (We all like a little ego-stroking, right?! =))

    I did — and have been doing — a lot of thinking about my own life. At 31 and a half, I feel like I’m just starting to be a “real adult.” Maybe I’m a late bloomer in this regard, but I feel like it took me a while to really become grounded, professionally and romantically and emotionally. I had a lot of fun in my 20s, but I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and who I wanted to be.

    I took careful stock of my life: my career, my friends, my finances, my time, my stress levels, everything. I asked myself how I would want to spend my final months, how I would want to be remembered, what I would want to see, where I would want to be, and with whom I would spend that time. I made my own “bucket list.” I set goals for myself. I re-organized priorities.

    The good news is that, in many ways, I’m already living my dream. I have a job I love, work with great people, and get to travel to amazing places all over the world. I’m making progress on that “bucket list.” (For evidence of this, see my own blog: http://peaceandjusticemaven.blogspot.com!)

    You’re a class act, Bret. I really, really mean that.


  4. Cousin Mike says:

    So my final thought on your post was about me dying. There are two approaches that I could take with consideration of my own death. The first is, who cares? I won’t be around to know any different. I used to have this point of view, but as I’ve gotten older, death scares me not for what may happen to me, but for the thought of what I leave behind. Approach # 2: My biggest fear is not being there for my kids. Maybe it’s selfish and placing more importance on myself than is necessary/actual, but I’m terrified of the idea of my kids growing up and not having me there to keep them safe, guide them, etc. I’m probably not giving my kids enough credit for how amazing and perserverant they are; as well as over-emphasizing the value of my influence on them. Maybe it’s just selfishness that I want to see them grow up and live their lives.
    I’m not a very smart guy, and certainly don’t have the ability to psycho-analyze my emotions, so perhaps it’s just a natural paternal protection thing. I dunno…. instead of getting too deep (and totally ruining my street, er, I mean, “blog” cred), I’ll diverse into some random thoughts/babbling…
    I do believe that every person in our lives, every interaction and experience we have helps to shape the people we become–always for the better/stronger. You’ve inspired/influenced so many people in life. Now you continue to do so with this blog. It’d be interesting to see how many “hits” this website gets a day.
    See what happens when there’s no track meet on a Saturday? I get lazy AM “blogitis”. I’ll just send you a text instead of clogging up the website traffic.

  5. Dawn DeBadts says:

    Mike – keep blogging

    Brett and mighty travelers, you are now being followed by a friend in Coco Coco Beach, an art teacher who lives in Pultneyville and several students I work with. I will also send your link to my niece who is fighting for her life with Glioblastoma. I think she would smile. That would be a good thing.

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