Stormy seas and The art of running away

2022 was a year of difficult lessons: I learned that I can make hard decisions - even when the right choice is the unpopular one. I also learned that not everyone who is in your circle is in your corner - even if they are family.

My mother passed away at the end of January 2023 after a fierce battle with cancer. I still remember her huge smile when I told her that the Eagles were going to the Super Bowl... and I remember her last sigh of relief a fews days later when it was time for her to go. I also remember the silence and gaping hole her absence left in its wake.

A few weeks later when my husband and I were on our way to pick up her ashes, I got a text from my best friend, Christine, inviting me on a cruise to the Bahamas with four of her friends/coworkers. The Bahamas had been one of Mom's favorite cruise destinations. Maybe it was a little nudge from her from the great beyond telling me to get back to enjoying life or maybe it was just coincidental timing because Christine had no clue what I was doing when she sent that text. Having no additional details other than an approximate sail date and cost, I said "yes" with zero hesitation.

Fast-forward to July, I boarded a ship with Christine and four women I had only met twice leading up to the trip. What could possibly go wrong?


In fact, it was the first time in months where I felt like I was actually living instead of just going through the motions. We explored, learned about the islands' history, and enjoyed local cuisine. I could not ask for a better group to get lost with.