It was a trip in the making for about 18 months. Judy had come up with the idea of having our kids and grandkids join us on a cruise to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. Our two youngest grandkids didn't come because of their ages.
After a LOT of back and forth messaging we finally came up with a date and price that fit everyone's budgets.
Our first stop on the cruise was in Grand Cayman. It was there that Judy and I renewed our wedding vows and commitment to each other. Our son, Jeremy, officiated at the renewal. And as you can see from the picture above, it was a beautiful day on the beach.
During our time on the beach each of our kids and grandkids shared something special about Judy and me. It was a very emotional time to say the least. As Jamie shared, she remembered Mickey, and said she was sure that if Mickey were looking down on us that day that she would be proud of us and what we've done with the pain of losing her.
Yes, there it was again. That reminder that someone special in our family was missing, and we were missing her too.
How different the picture above would look if Mickey were still here? Would she be married with kids? Judy says "yes!" What would she look like as a mom and wife?
These are those questions that follow parents and surviving siblings after the death of a child. You see, while grief gets better, and life goes on, the hole left behind by the child that's gone is never really filled. Nor should it be. Nor do we want it to be. But it is there nonetheless.
Following the emotional time on the beach we had a blast with the kids and grandkids on the cruise. Many new memories. Many laughs. I learned a bit about how to play chess with chess pieces that were 3 feet tall. Needless to say, I'm no chess master. Our families enjoyed laughing together as comedians on the ship reminded us of the funnier side of life. At dinner each night we got to hear the stories of what others did during the day that we didn't get to see. Mitchell had become known for his record setting ice cream cone consumption.
Judy and I wanted to share this post today because we wanted people who have lost a child recently to know that yes, life does go on. And yes, you can really LIVE again. God has brought new joys, and new tears, as we live life again. We love you, Pat & Judy