I remember when we got the news they were going to be closing the railroad station in my hometown. I must have been very young because this story involves my grandmother. My grandmother died when I was five years old. I remember my grandfather driving us to the train station. He bought tickets for my grandmother and me to ride the train. We rode to a nearby town. My grandfather drove to this town to pick us up. They wanted me to have the experience of riding the train from my hometown.
What makes this event life changing has to do with the love my grandparents showed that day and the way it changed the way I look at things. The railroad plays an important role in my hometown. When the town was laid out, railroad overpasses were built so traffic did not have to stop for trains coming through the town.
I have ridden a number of trains in my life, in the United States and Europe. I have ridden trains as the means to get from one place to another. Having also ridden historical and specialty trains where the ride itself was the attraction. Honestly, I can say that for almost all the trains I have ridden, I have had a momentary memory of that special train trip my grandparents provided for me so many years ago.
I have had any number of life changing experiences-events that occurred where I could mark a difference in my life and how I viewed things before and after the event. The deaths of each of my grandparents, which took place about fifteen years apart were life-changing events for me in different ways. My grandmother was the first close relative I lost. Her death helped form some of my early memories of how I dealt with. I remember as a young child going to the visitation. I remember that my parents decided not to let me go to her funeral. Instead, I stayed with some teenaged cousins. I can recall talking with them about what was going on at that time.
I was in college when my grandfather died and I participated in his service. It had been a difficult period in our church. Several people had died in a very short period of time. I recall my pastor seeming relieved when I agreed to talk about my grandfather. I remember sharing that experience during my father’s funeral. Each of those events were ones for which I saw life differently than I had before.
There have been other events that marked a divide in the way I viewed things before and after. Among them would be my graduations, the day I met the love of my life. Our wedding is another such event. We were both in college when we got married. I will never forget being on campus the first day back in class after our wedding. Suddenly, I looked around. Things just seemed different. Suddenly, I realized that the difference was that I was married. It was amazing how that changed my view of the world!
As we move forward, there are things that happen that forever change how we see things. Some are huge. Others might not seem life changing at the time. Think of a few of your life-changing events. Which mainly affect you and a few people? Which were global? How did each change your view of your world from before to after? What can we take from these events to be better able to make use of them to make our lives better?