As every day goes by, and I have plenty of time on my hands to think, I try to remind myself how lucky we truly were.
I finished my last trip for the year that Stephen and I were to go on. I went to Charleston with my daughter. Prior to that, in July, I went to Myrtle Beach with a friend and her daughter, and way back in May, I went to our home away from home, North Carolina, with my sister. Steve was supposed to be there with me, physically, for each trip. And even though he wasn’t there in the physical sense, I knew Steve was there with me for every moment.
I started reminiscing about the places we’d been. We were quite the nomads and had more places on our list to see. When my grandmother passed away in 1996, we decided with any inheritance we got, we would take bucket list trips. That first one was London, in 2011. We vowed to take a trip every 5 years from that point on. 2015 brought us to Italy and our Covid trip in 2020 was to be either Australia or an African Safari. Well, we all know how those trips turned out… they didn’t. But I’m still hopeful.
There were many great interim trips in between those bigger ones…. Our honeymoon in Bermuda. Hawaii, to welcome my son back to the states after his first deployment in the Navy. San Francisco and Napa wine country, of course. Countless trips to New Mexico to visit my sister and her kids. New York City to see Letterman in person. Los Angeles to visit my daughter. Concerts in Philadelphia. New Orleans, Atlantic City, Tennessee, Florida, Finger Lakes, just to name a few. And most recently…. good old Scranton, PA for a Steamtown train ride. It was for my 60th birthday in 2020 but knowing what I knew, and how much Steve loved trains, it was the perfect weekend getaway. That’s how much I love him.
As the holidays approach, I wonder how I’ll spend them. What will I do to continue to make them special? How can I make it an event to remember like we used to do? Time can erase a lot of things… or so I’m told. I may not hurt as much, I may not cry as much, I may not laugh as much. But one thing I do know is that I will always love as much.
I’m going to revel in the happy memories… our last Thanksgiving, our last Christmas and all the holidays before them. My memories will never fade. So, as I refill my toiletries, put my suitcase away for my next trip, I’ll always have my trip down Memory Lane… and I’d take that to the bank any day.