I’ve been more or less MIA for the past few weeks. One week getting ready for our family vacation and then a week at our destination….Cancun, Mexico.
With Entrepreneur’s cancer, each family get-together represents another milestone and a grateful heart. Our last family vacay was December of 2018 and we commemorated it with a family photo. He was coming off chemotherapy in anticipation of starting immunotherapy in January, 2019, and we didn’t really know what to expect. Would this be our last family vacation? The average life span of a renal cell cancer patient is five years from diagnosis and he was five years out last November. Summer of 2019, we rolled the dice and planned another winter vacay. It seems like each time we do this, we’re tempting fate. Or, are we being optimistic in the face of the unknown?
Either way, we made it. Wheels up at 0-dark thirty…leaving behind the snow and cold temps of February in middle Missouri. Touchdown in the tropics in time to have lunch by the sand and surf of a beautiful resort. Vacations previously taken for granted now have renewed meaning and purpose. We gather from different parts of the country and different stages in life to share one thing…..celebration of family.
This is our happy place. Vitamin Sea….essential to our well-being and sanity. Stress disappears like the tide’s undertow, taking with it the fears and anxiety of living life with cancer. Time seems to slow to a crawl and the most important decision of the day is where to go for dinner.
I will admit, family vacations do come with a fair amount of challenges when it involves littles. And, sometimes, those “adult” children can be a challenge as well. Families are messy but that messiness provides insight and we realize what is truly important in life. And, for us, right now, it’s putting aside our differences to celebrate together the gift of life.
So, we embrace life with outstretched arms and are thankful for the opportunity to shed the distractions of our daily life. While all vacations provide health benefits, family vacays can serve as emotional anchors. The memories made with family can imprint on children and provide a secure base in this every-changing, transient world. The memories made with family will last a lot longer than souvenirs and tan lines.
The littles won’t be little very long and Entrepreneur and I want to enjoy seeing the wonder and pure joy in their faces during vacation experiences. We started taking our daughters on family vacations while they were young (before teenage years) and now we want to provide those opportunities for our grand girls as well. By providing these memory-making opportunities, it’s our hope these experiences are woven into our children and grandchildren’s identities and serve to help in how they view life.
Our family is not very large and between timeshare points and credit card cash back money, it’s do-able for us to financially swing this as our gift to them. I don’t know what the future holds, but as long as Entrepreneur feels strong enough, we’ll continue to make memories and be thankful for the experiences.
Blog hopping with Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home.