Laughter!
Love your family!!!

I  left my parents home in Upstate NY when I was 19 years old.  I have never lived with them again.  I have visited many times through the 25+ years that I have been away.  We have met in FL to visit my brothers, and my parents have traveled to visit me in the many places I have lived through the years.  We have never taken a family trip until last week. Truth be told, I never loved myself, so how on earth could I really love my family?

I had many FEARS before leaving.  My biggest fear was that I would get cranky and mean toward my Mom and Dad.  I have done that often through the years, and I have hated myself every time. I asked GOD to come with me on this trip.  I also was reminded over and over that the trip was to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50 years of marriage; truly an amazing accomplishment.

We all arrive in Abaco, Bahamas on Saturday, October 20th.  My brothers have a friend that allowed us the use of their amazing home on the beach!  Five bedrooms and a pool house was home away from home for eleven of us, including 2 toddlers and a dog.  My older brother, Todd was there 2 days before heading back to Palm Beach to do pay roll for his business.

We enjoyed four amazing sunny days!  Then, Hurricane Sandy came upon us.  It was amazing to witness this many people working together to prepare meals, clean, do laundry, and communicate about the plan of action if the roof blew off or flooding happened.  We actually had a plan. Hurricane prep started on Wednesday, and the last remnants of the storm didn’t leave until Saturday.  Shutters were put up and the rains came in.  Between the downpours we would all run outside and “play.”  A close friend and her husband (who are like family) were on the trip as well.  Together, we videoed weather updates and, in the midst of it all, laughed so hard we almost peed our pants.

Everyone brought food and we ate amazingly well, including Alaskan Crab legs from hubby! We played games, talked, read, ate and slept through the Hurricane.  I swam often, as it felt warm to my Alaskan blood!

We had a generator when the power went off and we tried to conserve energy as much as possible.  We would huddle together when the winds were scary.  We had a satellite phone, but only used it to contact Todd, as he was our main source of communication to the outside world.  He and the owner of the house helped navigate us through. What a blessing that he was on the mainland and able to help.

I am filled with LOVE.  Period.  Just plain and simple LOVE.  I believe it was the best trip I have ever had.  No distractions from emails, cell phones, social media, TV (although we did occasionally have a satellite to get TV updates).

I feel blessed to have a family that are all healthy, hard working, communicative, wonderful people!  Eight days and we all bonded!

I am crying as I type this…I never dreamed of having this life that I get to show up and participate in.  I have no apologies to make to anyone for my behavior on this trip and that is a miracle!