A week or two before he died, Dave bought each of the kids and me a new suitcase.  I think that he would be pretty impressed that those suitcases have traveled to 9 or 10 different places during these last 18 months.  (Sam and I took one extra trip.)  At first the trips were reasons to be away.  To attempt to avoid the memory pitfalls.  To try to distract ourselves from our anguish.

Our most recent trip was to Orlando.  We spent a few days exploring Universal Studios and then another five days at Disney.  This trip was not a possibility last year.  When we would talk about places we might go, Samantha was adamant that she never wanted to go back to Disney since that was something we did only as a family.

A year makes a big difference.

We had the best time.  We explored every inch of those parks.  We reminisced about previous visits.  We commented on what Dave would have thought or said.  When were finished with the parks for the day, we went swimming and soaked our aching feet.  One night we saw the brilliant new Star Wars movie.  Most importantly, we enjoyed being together.  We laughed until our sides ached and tears were streaming down our faces.  I am quite certain that no one else would find our humor remotely as entertaining as we did.

I felt Dave’s presence throughout the trip – a song playing overhead, a cool breeze on my face at just the right moment, a memory brought to mind.  I think that I can honestly say that each time we spoke of him, which was frequent, it was with joy and laughter and not with sorrow. I am grateful for the new memories that were created and having the gift of spending time with my kids.

On Saturday we have an appointment to get our passports renewed so that the adventures can continue.

May 2016 bring us all more happiness, more time with our loved ones, new memories created, and laughing until our bellies ache.



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Giving Tuesday

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend. I was telling Parker about her and mentioned that we used to work together but that she had decided to stay home this year to look after her granddaughter. At the end of the conversation, Parker was concerned and asked, “Do you mind me asking what happened to the mom?” In Parker’s world, her first thought was that something had happened to the baby’s mom. I reassured her that the mom was fine and the reason my friend was babysitting was because she had gone back at work. Parker will forever have a slightly different perspective of the world. It was truly a Godsend to be able to send her to camp with others who get that. If you are looking for a worthy place to receive your end of the year donations, please consider Camp Kesem William & Mary‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ ‪#‎GiveKidsKesem‬