Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bucket list: road map for BD3

I already wrote about Shar’s bucket list items that we had already completed together. Now I wanted to share the road map that she has left for me and JJ to follow going forward in life. All of the below writings were pulled from her journals both physical and online. Most she wrote within the last year. I will annotate in red and emojis.

What do I envision for my life?
No bucket list would be complete without a summary, a letter to life, a mission statement. Through our first 30 years, and especially the 12 years together, Jared and I have both been so blessed. First and foremost we were lucky enough to find each other. I’ve never met another soul so suited to mine, another person so connected to me, or another human I never seem to tire of. I 100% agree with these statements. I was so incredibly lucky to find her and she incredibly suited for me. My life of love and adventure, art and literature, family and friends- begins and ends with him. The longer we are together, the more my heart becomes a part of his and molds into one, somewhat unhealthy, enlarged pumping organ that cannot be separated without killing both. Amen again! I am missing my other half emotionally, spiritually and in many ways it feels like physically!

31 Weeks
And when I look into the future, I see Jared and I heading into a mix of the past and dreams- love and heartbreak, happiness and disappointment, learning and questioning, and adventure and boredom. Sharry was so much better at looking to the future and planning the big and the small. Right now my future is completely empty save for this list! There will be travel, and campouts, and great literature, and strangeness. And while some of the time will be spent celebrating, relaxing, and enjoying- other time with be for fearing, dodging, and recovering. Definitely in the fearing, dodging and recovering stage. Ultimately, I guess creating our own narrative is really what keeps us alive and in this journey together, our is a love story. Eleanor Roosevelt once said good things only come to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. My dream is to be forever with my baby girl and have a happy together family and I definitely believe in the beauty of that.

For me, I envision my life as a lover, a writer, and a mother.
a traveler.
a hiker.
a reader.
an artist.
an environmentalist.
an activist.
a naturalist.
a debt free living desert rat.
a peacenik.

I want our home to be a place of Sunday dinners, Saturday brunches, Thanksgiving dinners, and summer garden parties. A safe space, a gathering place.

No matter how easy entertainment is to access in this digital age, these are mostly distractions from real-life experiences. Of course, real life has a lot more struggle and hardship than easy entertainment, but it is this living, this living, this living- that gives us meaning. This one is critical for me. To find worthwhile real experiences rather than inundating our lives with entertaining distractions.

What will be the most memorable things in the next 20 years of my life? 😭
Baby births, family time, family deaths, buying a house, writing a book, sailing (and other adventures), IVF, holidays
And the last 20 years?
Finding bubby 💞♥

Things TO DO during our lifetime:
( ) Seen the Northern Lights
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
( ) Danced in the rain-naked
(  ) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Been White Water Rafting
(X) Written a book or screen play wrote and published a children's book 10/14/17
(  ) March on Washington
(  ) Reach enlightenment
(  ) Become a sage
(  ) Find a spiritual home
(  ) Learn to love (and accept) myself
(  ) Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Austin city limits, Newport folk fest,
(  ) Backpack through Eastern Europe (2017!)
(  ) See the seven world wonders (Taj Mahal, Petra, Chichen Itza, Christ Statue, (X)Colosseum, Great Wall, Machu Picchu)
(  ) Travel the world: One big trip a year
(  ) Go to India
(  ) Find the meaning to life
(  ) Accept everyone
(  ) Be a peacemaker
(  ) Write multiple books- poetry, fiction, Young Radicals
(  ) Meet a President
(  ) Watch my children grow old Oh man this one is incredibly sad and not fair. Hopefully in some form she will.
(  ) Kids: large college savings accounts
(  ) Kids: Roth IRA (3,000 for 5yrs/each)
(  ) Learn to really love others
(  ) Read the top 100 books
(  ) Learn Spanish
(  ) Have my art exhibited in a gallery
(  ) Get a Ph.D
(  ) Be self-sufficient; “I’ve got to get myself back to the garden,”
(  ) Become less materialistic
(  ) Become even-tempered
(  ) Cloth the naked and feed the hungry She had such Christ-like goals
(  ) Get a VW and rubber tramp (gypsy)
(  ) Overcome fears: Public speaking/ singing, Making friends, Taking chances, Insects, Heights, Insults, Loneliness  
(  ) Have a campfire funeral We actually did this one for her with family and a couple of really close friends
(  ) Learn to play the dulcimer
(  ) Spend my evenings sitting on a porch, watching the sunset
(  ) Change the world
(  ) Join Peace Corps (public>nonprofit)
(  ) See Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hahn
(  ) Hike the Appalachian trail, The Narrows, Everest Base Camp, (x)Kalalau Trail (Hawaii), Bay of Fires, Machu
(  ) Open a venue for upcoming music
(  ) Become financially independent
(X) Consult a clairvoyant gypsy Checked off on California Pilgrimage 10/13/16
(  ) Summer evening candle dinners
(  ) Overcome anxiety
(  ) Live nine lives: 1. Lover, 2. Activist, 3. Artist, 4. Traveler, 5. Learner, 6. Mother, 7. Humanitarian, 8. Worker, 9. Writer  She was well on her way for the majority of these
(  ) Live communally
(  ) Join a union (and help organize)
(  ) Learn to sail- go from France to Turkey
(  ) Find my own Walden
(  ) Treasure hunt student grants, creative giving ($10k- get back to nature and education)
This is the last item that Sharry added to her list and I plan on making it happen this fall, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for a Sharry Buhanan-Decker treasure hunt scholarship
From her journal 30 before 30...everyone has to have a bucket list before they reach the end of their 20’s right?
  1. Get pregnant/have a baby (yep, we’re pretty wild) JJ
  2. Buy a house bought and sold haha
  3. Save, save, save, save, save
  4. Work on my writing continually my lesser words bombard her blog
  5. Read 52 more books definitely not and full of books on grief, widowhood and out of body experiences
  6. Travel internationally one or two more times hmmm dunno about this without Shar
  7. cut down on sugar
  8. cut down on milk, eggs and cheese (for the animals)
  9. Pray daily BIG yes
  10. open my heart to magic YES please, I need some magic
  11. Get up before work and get things done uhhh no
  12. hone skills in grant writing
  13. hone skills in photoshop and graphic design
  14. hone skills in photography
  15. Make a friend at church
  16. Find a real community and get involved
  17. become a backpacker (w/ baby)
  18. learn to sail
  19. stop cussing...for the babies definitely a good idea
  20. produce a rough draft of my book
  21. show gratitude daily never a bad idea
  22. meet the dalai lama (he canceled trip to slcc)
  23. help elect a democrat for president we tried hard for Bernie, The Donald will do the rest
  24. host a 10 year wedding anniversary party she wanted a big beautiful party )o:
  25. hike, hike, hike, hike, hike
  26. host beautiful outdoor baby blessing definitely plan on this
  27. go natural health and beauty products
  28. hike kalalau trail in hawaii
  29. gain patience single parenthood forces this
  30. live without attachment uhhh not going to happen way too attached to my baby girl
Man I’m such a square (o:

As you can see this is a wonderful road map to guide JJ and into the scary, lonely and unknown future. Shar is amazing and will continue to be our guiding star.


  1. What a wonderful road map for you as you raise JJ! As far as the last one, to live without attachment, I can't help but think she meant attachment to things, not people. She obviously considered her relationships to be very important, especially her relationship with you. God bless you as you move forward as difficult as that must be. There are so many of us you don't know as well as the ones you do know who are pulling for you and praying for you and JJ and Sharry.

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing this, Jared. My heart and prayers go out to you and Lil Jj. That JJ is so blessed to have you! Sending love your way.

  3. I can't stop reading your blog! I am both sad and inspired with how your wife lived her life. I, too, have my bucket list and I share the same philosophy of "buying experiences not things". But, I think the greatest thing she ever ticked off her list is when you both found each other. I don't know you as a couple, but how you share your love for each other is amazing! May God bless you! Sending love and prayers from the Philippines! :)

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  5. Hey Jared, I am very touched by what life has held for you and what you have shared has brought tears to my eyes. My prayers go out to you and Lil JJ. What wonderful gifts Sharred has left for you and Lil JJ to hold on to, all the songs, the bucket list - this is probably a beautiful way to remember Her and feel Her presence. I can't stop thinking you two must have been one of the most - if not the most- amazing couples in the world. A picture means a 1000 words and the pictures of Her and you together show the love and compassion you had for one another, a love so unconditional and passionate I have gained faith again in finding such love one day.

    In Turkish there's a saying: "Her işte bir hayır vardır" (all for the best, everything happens for a reason, blessing in disguise). If you are a believer in God may I suggest you read A Time For Everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). This has helped me cope a lot with the passing of my loved one.

    1. Thank you your kind words mean a lot and I LOVE that saying and I'm glad to give you some hope