Life's a Beach & Other Thoughts


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January 12th 2013
Published: January 12th 2013
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"It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Well folks, we are hanging in there. Lara was next in line to get the flu, so it was another evening/night of me tending to someone sick. I am ready to take off the nurse's cap thank you very much. She's not nearly as ill as Rory was in the sense of vomiting and it's 7 am and she's sleeping which is a good sign.

I feel queasy but so far no real signs I'm getting it. While I may not be sick, I don't look any hell being up a few nights in a row, but nothing a ball cap & sunglasses can't hide!!. Right now I barely rise when I hear the girls get up because they are feeling sick, and I am getting worn out getting up & down, so I basically sleep with medication on my chest and hand it over when I hear them get up!! I came here with a banged up elbow, and in the night I didn't realize that the nightstand had been moved to accommodate water cups. So guess who banged the iving daylights out of their other elbow? Sheesh I need some hockey pads to keep me from danger or protect me from myself!!

Stupid bleeping flu; who wants to go on vacation & get sick? You can do that at home for free. I can see "Mr. Flu Virus" pacing outside the condo door ringing the doorbell wanting to be let in, but I refuse to answer it. Hit the road buddy, no flu for me... From my lips to God's ears.

Yesterday Al & I finally got a walk in together. It seems so rare that we as a couple get time away alone as we're still raising a family, so I really enjoy spending time with him. We always have fun, always laugh, always seem to end up talking about the kids which is part and parcel of parenthood. But it's so imporant to find time as a couple, and revel in that time together, and we did.

It was hot & sunny and just a beautiful day as we strolled about, enjoying the surf, sun and sounds from the beach. We stopped to get a margarita, and aferwards walked to get a grilled chicken on a bun with pickled onions. It is SO good. We came back & enjoyed lunch on the balcony while Ray and Pat went out for tacos. They are finding new little spots to have lunch which is fun.

The wind is still strong here, so the scuba diving is on hold, as is the snorkeling in Akumal. We are almost willing to try it today and our friend Jaime has his van ready to go, and is just waiting for the word. I won't know till Lara is up how she is feeling, and whether anyone else is feeling sick. It's taking Greg a few days to get over the bug, but he's much better today and was up right after me bright and early this am.

So yesterday before dinner the plan was to go to the fish spa. Blaine, Pat, Al, Lara, Ava & Greg were all eager to do it. Rory was still feeling the effects of the flu, so she and I sat in the VIP section which had these big bean bag chairs. I had a nice glass of Chardonnay and Rory had a lemonade. I tell ya, fun chairs to get into, not so much fun getting out of them.

There was quite a few laughs & giggles as these miniature little carp give you a foot spa experience. So some of you that are new to the blog may not have read about the experience from last summer so I'll go over how the fish spas work. Mini carp or garra rufu, also known as "nibble fish", have no teeth and they just suck and nibble at your feet removing the dead skin etc, making your feet feel rather smooth afterwards. As I said, when you first put your feet in, it's a rather odd sensation, and can be quite ticklish. It was fun hearing the lads giggle like small schoolgirls!

The spa has high standards to maintain, and the tanks are sterilized and on a constant cleaning cycle, and after each use, the tanks are cleaned again. They all seemed to think it was a fun experience and well worth doing for the price. It's fun introducing others to new experiences.

Once done the gang joined us in the VIP area, sat and chatted and the plan was to go out to a little restaurant that has pool tables where we could eat and play some games of pool. Before we left, I challenged 2 of the waiters to sit on the floor, legs crossed and try to get up without using their hands. Well you could tell they thought this was no challenge at all. HAHA, you may be young & fit but it doesn't mean it's easy to do. Well they kept trying and trying nearly flinging themselves into the furniture. But no luck. Ava did it without an issue...! I have a feeling those two lads would keep that up all night long until they were successful!! Sheesh I hope they don't get fired for sodding off the job and playing around!?

While there, Rory wasn't feeling very good again, so she & I took a bicycle taxi back to the condo. Despite her feeling so off, she thought the bike taxi was fun. Grandma offered to stay with Rory, so we went off to eat. All in all it was a nice relaxing day, despite the way it started. The guys had fun playing pool, Ava and I sat and chatted (she always amazes me with funny stories at 7 years of age), and it was a great outing.

All we can ask is for good health and everyone gets the flu over and done with. I figure having a margarita a day must be killing off any bugs that are trying to get at me! Tarbender, oops, I mean bartender bring another round (hiccup)...

Before I end the blog, today is my late brother Bill's birthday. I got up early to see the sunrise, and sat there processing my thoughts.

So first, Happy Birthday Bill, a toast to you.

It's coming 3 years since we lost him (strange phrase, lost like he went somewhere & couldn't find his way back?)...On holidays, birthdays, milestones, that same old grief washes over one again, much like strong waves in the ocean which can knock you on your butt no matter how firm your feet are planted.

It's been a journey for the family working through grief, and it's a journey one goes on alone. I did my share of searching for answers of "why" and "how does one make sense of a sudden death" and what is life and death all about if the ones left behind are so broken. My mind was like a constant search engine trying to find answers to these questions and the reality is, the question is a zen koan (which is like a riddle or question with no answer that you meditate on to gain enlightment or some form of an awakening) There's no right answers with a zen koan, more what you know or believe in, is what you get out of the riddle/question in the end.

I no longer chase my tail the way I did before with the "whys?". It is what it is, and it sucks (talk about big words today!). However, I do think you need to allow grief in, to acknowledge your loss, and to do your best to pick up the pieces, and move forward as a tribute to your loved one. Mom, you showed me how strong and graceful one can be when facing terrible losses, and you've had more than one. I hope my girls can see me in the same light.

Having gone through a sudden loss, I will say it has given me more empathy & perspective than I had before. So many people suffer huge losses, go through terrible times and if we can all support each other down that rocky road called "life", we can hopefully endure these losses. Life's a beach (er bitch) as per the blog title, but every once in a while you hit the jackpot of good times & happy moments, (like a wonderful tropical trip away with family), and when you do, it's important to recognize it & give thanks for it. And I am not suggesting my loss is greater than anyone else's; I know there are many folks who have had one hit after a hit and I salute you for your grace under pressure. I am just opening a door to talk about grief and loss and give it the acknowledgement it deserves.

So, right now on January 12th, despite still missing Bill so much, I am grateful for having had such a wonderful brother. A kind, caring, very highly-principled, very funny, very generous person with a big spirit who touched so many lives. He influenced me in ways that I cannot describe & I hope he knows that (including my sarcasm; got that from you Bill 😊 He was an upstanding man, and how darn blessed I feel today to have had the wonderful pleasure & honor of knowing him, and to be able to call him my brother. Winnie the Pooh said it best, "Promise you'll never forget me, because if I thought you would, I would never leave". He will never be forgotten as you can clearly tell when I write my blogs...I appreciate your allowing me the floor every once in a while when his name comes up.

May all of you appreciate your loved ones, and do your best to live a grateful life despite the hard knocks thrown at you. I know this blog's a little "deep & philosophical" today, but a little introspection doesn't hurt anybody once in a while right? PS before you read to the end, a reminder, extra photos are at the bottom.

I will somehow find a piece of cake & light a candle for you today Bill to celebrate the day you were born. And trust me, there'll be a margarita poured for both of us, and I'll toast to you. Come join me Bill, I'm waiting...

"The soul never ends, and as a result, neither does life. So the good souls shall rest forever under the sacred tree Yaxche, where food and peace will reign forever." Mayan quote


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12th January 2013

Thank you for writing the most beautiful and fitting tribute to Bill. You do have a gift for writing. In case you are wondering, I am fine. I am looking at this day as being a special day.... Bill came into our lives. Keep on with the updates, I am realy enjoying them. Love to all, XOXOXOXO
12th January 2013

Life's a beach
Thank you mom, it was indeed a tribute he was owed. Glad to hear you can muster through this day & remember him with love. xoxoxo
13th January 2013

Thank you!
Sally, that was wonderful to read. Winnie the Pooh has always had the ability to say what I wanted to. I have given many Winnie cards for birthdays and Christmas over the years, as I often find them to be quite profound. As your Mom says, you do have a gift. I think it is because you are honest in what you are putting into words :-) I think of Billy often, too. I say Billy, because that is how I know him, not as Bill. I knew him when he was young and mischievous, but lost track of him as we often do when we get older. We all go in different directions. I can tell you that I never hear anything bad about Bill. Anyone I have ever talked to, who knew he had left us too early, has always said what a fine man he was. We are all blessed to have him in our lives. Nice to know that he will never be forgotten. Have a great time there, in spite of the flu.
15th January 2013

Oh Sally... This sucks that the flu had to follow you all on your tropical vacation. I hope your all better, I hate to hear the kiddo's are sick while on vacation.. Wish i could take the sickness away from them. And you banging up your elbow, I felt the pain while reading it. Gees Girlie, take it easy. Your sweet words about your missed brother Bill brought tears to my eyes. Your a very kind, caring person. We need more people like you in this world and all the best.
15th January 2013

Life's a beach
Hey Leah, we're made of good stuff. It passed rather quickly, the issue is it lingered a bit preventing us from doing things all together at the same time. Elbow's better though! Thanks for the kind words about Bill. The words come easy when it comes to him. Hope all's well with you guys!!!

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