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Back From Vacation


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I took the last week off and spent it with my kids in Akumal Mexico, which is about two hours south of Cancun. First I'd like to let both Kay and Dwayne know that I am praying for there healing. It is difficult enough to struggle with death and life alone without having health issues but I know that your perseverance will get you through this difficult time once again. Please know that your gentle support to all of us has gotten me through many dark days and I admire your drive to just keep pushing along.

This was our second vacation since Mark died. This year I booked a week at an all inclusive resort that had a ton of on site activities and all we had to do was show up and start relaxing. We had a great time and we needed the escape. My two teens slept in every morning until at least 10:00 am, which left me with three hours of solid alone time on the beach. I didn't think it would be as hard as it turned out to be. My husband loved to see knew places and both being type A personalities, we would spend all our time exploring and planning activities for each trip. Whether it was deep sea fishing, quad riding or snorkeling we were never the couple sittig in the cabana with a good book. Needless to say my mornings on this trip were bitter sweet. After double expressos I spent the first several mornings looking for turtle nests and actually was lucky enough to find fresh tracks and a new nest. I giant iguana popped out of a bush and scared me to death and it looked like it had been trying to dig up the freshly lain eggs. I kept thinking about how excited Mark would have been to share in the experience, and was dissappointed that I needed to sit and cry once again. It's frustrating to have grief follow you everywhere. I felt so blessed to be in such a beautiful place and I didn't want to feel anything but peace and gratitude. I am always so torn with my emotions. I really just wanted to sit and be happy in the sand. But like all of you understand there are many, many times through this journey that we have no control over the pain and loss.

One advantage of an all inclusive resort are the distractions. We used the peddle boats to venture out into the ocean and we brought our own snorkel gear to explore the reefs. The food was awesome and drinks were free. Whenever the kids were hungry I din't have to cook or even make a reservation. You could eat burgers and fries at the beach bar or head up to one of the restraunts for a buffet. The chef cooked up a seafood paella right in the sand and I drank enough coronas with lime to appreciate the chaise lounge under the palapa. As a tribute to Mark I planned a day trip to an underground cenote where I not only jumped off a cliff into the water below but actually climbed a tree next to the cliff and jumped into the water as well. My kids took a video and are threatening to post it on U-tube. I never would have jumped out of the tree if Mark was alive. But one of the blessing I have found is that I am more daring with him gone. I think it's because I know he would have done it when the kids dared him and they need me to do it now.

So what did I learn after 7 days in the Mexican Riviera? I learned that I must keep living life. I must keep trying new things. I must be both mom and dad to my kids. I must sit and cry and get back up again and jump off the next cliff into the cool waters below. I am coming home 5 pounds heavier and determined to set new goals. Goals that a year ago would have been impossible to imagine. I am making a list of new firsts that I want to patiently start accomplishing. I am finally accepting that I can not plan out the end of this grief journey and it is too depressing to except that I will be sad forever. I will not fight the sadness but I will not giveup on the idea that one day happiness will be the stonger emotion in my life again.

We got back at midnight last night and school starts tomorrow here in Arizona. So needless to say today will be overwhelming. There are suitcases to unpack and school clothes and backpacks to get ready. But I am feeling better and stronger than when I left and I hope and pray for all of us that we can be patient and undertanding with ourselves.

Thanks for always being there to share the journey with. Cheryl

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Cheryl

So good to hear that you are doing things with your kids and for yourself despite the sadness.

I set a few goals for this year and am amazed how much better it has made me feel to be acomplishing something again. And I agree, I feel a sense of being bulletproof now - the worst that could happen to me has already happened and I seem to be living through it (after a fashion)so there's nothing to be afraid of losing now.

I have a holiday booked for Feb 2012 with some friends and you give me hope that I might actually enjoy it.

Still waiting for the day when I feel a sense of happiness again and tears are not my primary activity when alone but my mother used to say that the best person to help you up when you fall down is yourself.

I'm trying Mum!....Susie Q

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Cheryl,

I'm glad you and your kids got in a nice vacation, I can't imagine seeing iguanas and turtle nests, how cool is that!

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On another note about my vacation. On the flight back I couldn't help but notice the people sitting around me. One row back an older couple were trying to switch there seats around so they could sit together. It took a couple minutes but they worked it out with the people around them. She was over weight and kind of frumpy, he was balding and disheveled. Once seated together they were laughing and having such a good time. I glanced back later and she was holding his hand. Arms linked together, head on his shoulder, watching a movie on their Ipad. They looked so happy. The women next to me kept commenting that she thought her family should have been grouped together on the flight. She was flying with two teenage girls and her husband. The flight attendent told her she could try to switch with someone to get closer. But she was miffed and buried her head in a book. I couldn't help but notice that no one in her family came back to her seat to chat or check on her. Neither did she ever make a motion to do the same. Which reminded me of all the flights Mark and I took together. We always had our movies loaded onto a DVD player to watch. Usually we would get Sex in the City since we would be traveling without kids and could watch all the episodes for the year without little ears and eyes. Once he was upgraded to first class and he felt so guilty leaving me that he kept sending back all the free food and drinks to me! Then he wanted to switch seats half way through the flight. I guess seeing the two different marriages helped me ralize how blessed I was and at the same time I wanted to shake the women next to me and tell her to stop waiting for them to come to her and go to them!

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George and I ALWAYS sat together! Because of his job, we'd be the lat ones to arrive at our bible Study, and invariably there'd be single seats left so George would make everyone move over one so we could have two seats together. I remember one man complaining to him, "Can't you two be apart for two seconds?!" and George replied, "We have to be apart every day when we're at work, why would we want to be apart any more than that?" We were always the ones holding hands, we felt each other's hearts...

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Cheryl, what a fantastic sounding time with your kids. Perfect end of the summer for them. Always we will miss the other part of us, but you did beautifully. My first real vacation without Mike was last March, going to New Orleans, then a cruise, with a group of theater friends, and my daughter. Some sad moments, thinking of how much Mike would have enjoyed, but lots of happy moments also. Went to Az to visit my best friend in Douglas in June, after she had been here for a visit, and thank God, she is coming back in November for my birthday!! Have a trip planned to a motorcycle rally in Hot Springs Arkansas in September with my friend Tom and some other theater friends, AND my brother is coming up from Bryan Texas for it. The Rally is sponsored by some good friends (I don't ride, but will enjoy the fun). Sounds like I am just an old run around, but I am enjoying a little freedom since I retired. No matter what I do, I always think how much Mike would have enjoyed it also, and I miss him being there. There is always the sadness under the happiness, but I do have happy times also.

Mary (Queeniemary) in Arkansas

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