Saturday, March 19, 2011

Running away

Running away is typically not a good idea, but this time I made an exception.

I’d been invited to a couple of events in Florida (more on that when I’m back) and planned a vacation around them. The kids were super-excited.

Then my dad died. I was caught up in the logistics of his funeral and weighed down by the grief. Meanwhile, I hadn’t finished tying up all the details of our trip.

Cancel it, I thought.

Don’t cancel it, I thought. Do it for the kids. Dad would have told you to to go.

I am one of those people who can function under any circumstances. It’s something I inherited from my father, who was incredibly pragmatic. It got me through Max's time in the NICU. I was despondent but still I looked up all sorts of information, connected with Early Intervention, found a place for Max to get supplemental therapy, handled the insurance company, and dealt with paperwork. It's the way I was raised.

“Go to Florida,” said my friend Wendy, who has lost both her parents. “It’ll be good for the kids and for you, too.” She reminded me that she went to Florida shortly after her dad died, and while she wasn’t sure about it before she went, and she had bad moments while she was away, she said it was a good thing. “A trip should be a requirement for anyone whose parent has died,” she said.

So I got the trip planned. Today, we’re en route to Orlando; we're doing non-Disney activities. It’s beautiful in Florida and the kids are sunny, too. I’ve had my moments but I’ve been genuinely glad to see people I know and do some blog stuff.

Florida is the first place I ever traveled to, the first time I ever went on a plane. My dad planned it—he loved to travel. We went to DisneyWorld, and stayed in a city with a funny name. “Kissimmee, Daddy!” I’d say to him. We went to Busch Gardens, too. And ate lots of oranges.

We’re taking the kids to SeaWorld. The last time I was there was with my parents. I’m sure it will look different. I don’t know how it will feel.

Right now, though, we’re in a car cruising down a Florida highway, and I’m taking it one mile at a time.


  1. i hope you have many happy miles this trip and that max kisses you through the bad ones. much love jane xxx

  2. So happy that you went! Sunshine and a change of scenery are always the best medicine for grief. Even superwomen like you need to recharge once in a while.

  3. Sunny weather and kids! Enjoy each other. Someday they'll be talking about their trip to Florida with their parents! <3

  4. I think this trip is good for all of you too; glad to hear that you went ahead with it. Enjoy! :)

  5. Hope that your trip is full of happy moments and no drama whatsoever! Enjoy!!

  6. I think you made the right decision. I hope your trip brings back many happy memories and creates even more. Love to you.

  7. Have a wonderful trip. Embrace the old memories and make lots of happy new ones! Soak up the sun and know this is what your dad wants for you!! Very glad for you and try to find some time for you to relax (I know that's the hardest part).

  8. sunshine is always good, have a great vacation!

  9. Grieving is something you can and will do in any state. Why not do it in the sunshine, keeping the kids occupied will make you more relaxed as well. Sure you will have bad days, and better days, It doesn't matter what state you are in, your state of mind will be the same.
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Enjoy your family time and change of scenery.

  10. Eat lots of oranges, Ellen!!

    Have fun with your loved ones, don't THINK, and just breathe!

  11. Oh Ellen, I know it was a tough decision. You will be glad you did. Have loads of fun and do lots of stuff you don't normally do! You all deserve it! Hugs my friend!

  12. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your dad but am glad that you decided to head to Florida since I loved running into you and sharing a car ride! I hope Max has been achieving his goal of 4 ice creams a day during your trip! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  13. Ellen I just recently found your blog and well my son has been having late nights and it's so great to hear about Max your husband your daughter and of course YOU! I am so sadden to hear about your Father I have been praying for your family.... I am happy that you decided to just go to Florida and relax as much as possible... Funny thing is, my first trip was to Florida with my uncle and aunt it was the best! I am hoping to move there in the near future I wish you and your family nothing but the best I hope you all have a great time!


Thanks for sharing!

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