Upon return from week-long vacation with the vapers who literally saved my life, getting me off the stinkies, I had about 1000 emails. Needless-to-say, I couldn’t get to everyone, but I scanned through them all and commented where I could.
We had a blast with a group of sixteen that had gathered from around the country to share a house on Anna Maria Island. We had never met in person. I took a friend from Texas that we were hosting, and who had never seen the ocean, to the Atlantic before we joined the group. It is such a joy to see the world we take for granted through someone else’s eyes. We sat in Breakers Restaurant looking out over the ocean while we dined, sea breezes wafting through the windows.
She was a hoot. Afflicted with severe RA, she was determined to get in the water. We stepped with trepidation through the sand. Then she turned to me and said, “Hold my stuff.” With that, she marched straight toward the water on a mission. I didn’t try to stop her. It was a lifelong-long dream.
After crashing through the surf, a wave finally yanked her down and the smile on her face was worth a thousand sorrows. She swam and rolled in the water until the waves brought her back to the beach. I knew I couldn’t get her up by myself, but that’s what hard-bodied life guards are for…so I fetched her a couple. Another reason to smile. 🙂
The next day we joined the group in Anna Maria with our boat. I would have never expected to meet up with the most wonderful crowd that showed up at the Odyssey. We enjoyed their company immensely. The laughter, great food, awesome stories of more than a dozen lives shared, and the hugs touched me deeply.
Turquoise water, tropical breezes, sun, and fun is over for now, but the memories will live in my heart forever. It was an incredible, fantastic week and smiley was with us all the way while people marked things off their bucket list.