Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's not about fear... it's about living.

I was asked a few days ago if I felt ready to leave my kids for an adult only trip. Ready meaning had my fear finally gone away since Timmy dying.  It was funny. Because on one hand, the fear is always there. It is my greatest fear that something will happen to one of my other kids. I used to live in a bubble world where I believed if one tragedy happened to you - that you were somehow immune to any further tragedy. Dumb, I know.  But I really deep inside felt that way. Now, any glance back at history will show you that this thinking is the most ignorant way of thinking. Look how many people have suffered loss and tragedy after more grief than any person deserves. So, yes, there is a certain amount of fear of leaving my kids and going
on a trip. But... not nearly as intense as before. I guess I was sending a message that I could not leave my kids and go away for our 25th anniversary without out them. That is simply not the case at all.  Fear did not guide our plans. Living guided our plans. Here is the thing. We are all dying. Each and every single one of us will die at some point. It is the here and now that we have a teeny bit of control over.  Some people will live to be 100 and enjoy wonderful health along the way. Others - like my dad and my dear friend, Laurie will get sick and sadly die far too soon. Then there are the accidents and the tragedies. Timmy and Debi - too freaking soon and not fair either. Then there are people who just have failing health and can't do the things they would like. It is something I have been painfully made aware of time and again.  So, when I make plans - I think about these people. I think about their lives. They each impacted me in giant ways. As corny as it sounds, I try to live like I am dying.  What would I want to see or do or share or learn? And I believe that my time is short with my kids - as does Tim. Sure, we hope that we will live for a long, long time. We hope that our kids will always be okay and preferably live right across the street from us. We want to believe that will happen. But, the truth is that we just don't know. We don't know that Savannah won't find someone that needs to move to Zimbabwe to fulfill their dreams. We don't know that Sebastian won't need to go work for Apple and create the best iPhone ever.  Even though I have forbid them for ever moving more than an hour from me... we really don't know.  And, God forbid, and God knows that I pray it all the time... we don't know that the next tragedy is not right around the corner. So, when I have the opportunity to travel or explore, I want to take my kids with me. Thankfully, my wonderful husband absolutely agrees with everything I just wrote. Yes, there were times during our 12 day trip, that I would have loved to just had time with my husband. And I did have some time because cruise ships are big places and our kids are old enough to go off on their own. We also don't have a problem telling our kids that we are adults in a relationship and that means we need some time to be with just each other. The best way to teach your kids about relationships is to be real with them. And because we live this way...

We get to see our kids catch pigeons in Puerto Rico.

Wander through a 500 year old fort wondering what the walls can say.

Watch Sebastian master snorkeling on his own.

Look at my beautiful young woman that God gave to me.

Explore some of the best beaches anywhere.

Dress up for formal night and act like we are stars!

Wonder why our boy doesn't just put the glasses over his eyes so he can avoid squinting in every picture.

See how a man in Barbados envisioned a fabulous garden in an otherwise ugly sinkhole.  

Having fun with statues and my favorite girl.

Bathsheba, Barbados and squinty eyes!

Sample bananas at a banana plantation in St. Lucia. (Squinty eyes!)

Take a mud bath in St. Lucia - check!

Going up into a rain forest to jump in an ice cold waterfall!

 Take a crazy taxi in St. Kitts to a beautiful free beach! 

 Pose with a monkey! Sure, why not!? 

Sit on the balcony at the end of our day and give thanks to God!

Giggle at Sebastian adding his friends to the towel menagerie.

Take Timmy to the beach to see the planes fly!

Act like crazy tourists as the jets land and take off!

Live!!!! It is not about being afraid!!! It is about living the best life you can with the people you love!!!

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