Two years ago we ran away for Thanksgiving. Just the two of us. Monkey went to visit my parents, and we hopped a plane to Aruba. There were many great things about that vacation, not the least of which was watching crazy Thanksgiving weekend traffic in the States on TV, while sipping blue cocktails or getting ready to go for the morning dive. The vacation was so great, in fact, that we bought another one (a resort preview) right in the airport before we flew out. We then talked my parents and my sister into coming with us on that one. And we took Monkey, too.
This past spring we took a cruise, our first ever, to the Caribbean. This picture is from a snorkeling excursion we took to Stingray City at Grand Cayman.
I took the picture with our water- and shock-resistant digital camera, bought specifically for this trip. Yes, put it right under water and took the picture. Freaky, I know.
I love that picture. I love just about everything about it. I love the grace and the fluidity of movement, I like that it suggests how close I had to be to the stingray to get that shot, I even like that the creature's body carries reminders of scuffles, the sign of authenticity. This here is no pet stingray. This stingray has seen the rough side of the ocean. And of course, I like the shadow on the sand, the subtle hint of how clear the water is.
But today that picture is making me anxious. Not the picture, of course, the memories. JD wants to go away for Thanksgiving, to warmer climes, but more importantly away. And I am suddenly filled with dread. I didn't want to go on that cruise. It was too soon, not even seven weeks, after A died. JD had a good argument-- let's make new memories he said, everything here is all the same, as if nothing happened, I need something new and different. I heard him, and I knew he needed it. I knew Monkey would love it, and the friends we would go with were real friends, although long-distance now. So I agreed to go. As the time for the trip approached, however, I grew ever more anxious. I didn't want to go. The chores of getting ready for a beach vacation-- waxing, shaving, pulling out summer clothing while it was still certifiably winter outside, things that I would normally enjoy, or that would at least amuse me, it all felt wrong, it all felt like too much.
The cruise itself was up and down, with some great highs and some spectacular lows. When I think of it now, I mostly think of the good memories. Unbelievable dives, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, talking with friends, happy kid faces. But today I am transported right back to that time when I was getting ready to leave, that heavy, anxious place I hoped never to revisit. Experience tells me that if we go, the vacation will be good for me. The place JD found even has resort-wide free Wi-Fi. I could keep up with blogging from the beach, which is good, since I am not a big beach person otherwise. So why am I so mortified at the thought of going? Why do I feel right back there all these many months ago? Is it just that I was all set for a quiet long weekend at home? Is it the stress of the infertility stuff? The stress of the new unknown? I thought I was better now.