In memory of Laura

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12/03/2015 The crud is gone, we are both still coughing and Bill still overheats anytime he does anything but we are better.

Last Sunday I met a new friend who found me through my blog. She was on the island looking at land because she and her husband have decided to retire from Canada to Roatan. She invited me over to Media Luna where she was staying so we could talk. I couldn’t stay very long because we were taking the cupboard doors to Jeanie so I invited Diane to ride along to Camp Bay. We drove over here, loaded the doors in my car and headed out to Jeanies. It didn’t take Bill as long as he thought it would to hang the doors, once hung, we headed back home.

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The view out into Neverstain Bight from Media Luna resort. We can see this bight from our house quite well but we can’t see the resort, it’s tucked back in.

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Stunning, all inclusive. Mainly French Canadians I believe as the people don’t arrive through the US on Saturdays.

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Amazing vistas at every turn

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An unusual way to shade a beach area..

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Looking towards mainland Honduras

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The inside of the dining hall. Have heard food is typical buffet food, nothing spectacular but adequate.

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This is the new nightclub being built near Oak Ridge, thankfully not close to us. It’s going to be a big boat. It looks much more “boat like” now, will get some updated pics

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The view from the road to Media Luna. It’s a good distance from the road, most of the road you drive on is newly paved so it’s quite nice.

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X marks the spot of our friends home. It’s on Caribe Point Bight, lovely place and a nice kayak to the reef from there.

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View of the bight and Jonesville to the right

On Wednesday my friends Mike and Liza came for 11 days. They flew in on Avianca from the mainland. We met Mike and Liza when KP was here and we were visiting La Sirena in Camp Bay. Then Mike found my blog via my friend Amanda Walkins blog, his wife emailed me and the rest is history. After being in contact for months via FB and email, it’s like we were best friends already. I offered to pick them up at the airport at 10 on Wed. morning. Once we got the car loaded with their stuff (Orlando was sweet and went and got their bags for them and took them out to the car) we went to the Re-Max office so they could get their property deed. Yes, they are land owners on Roatan!! After that we went to Eldon’s and got some food and drink stuff, then I took them to Cabana Lana, the place they are staying in West Bay for 4 days, then they moved down to a place by Infinity Bay. A little variety this trip.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and we were meeting Mike and Liza at the Beach Grill at 3:30. I had to meet Cristiana (our lawyer) in French Harbor to pay her for our residency papers, then I met Sam to pay the balance on the roof job. When I was done with that I ran into Lady Lee for the big Black Friday sale that started on a Wednesday. I spent $180.00 and got over $350.00 worth of toys. Thank you Beth and Aaron and Walt and Judy, Ginny, Cathilee and Ralphie! Another friend of mine from Williamsport sent me money for the kids, thank you Rick, I donated all of your $$ to Because We Care and Nidia is buying toys for over 1000 kids with the money we are able to raise. When my errands were completed, I hustled back home and got ready for turkey dinner.

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Photo by Lisa Blythe, mama to 2 of our puppies, she and Rob own the Beach Grill. Mike and Liza and Bill and I, 11/26/2015

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The only girl of the litter, Sable. I adore this dog.

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Bill with Bandit & Sable. I am so blessed that Rob and Lisa took these 2, they were meant to be together, they have been inseparable since birth.

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Sweet boy Bandit, biting my arm exactly like Barrio does. He and Barrio look like twins.

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Beautiful and oh so loved pups, Sable and Bandit.

On Thanksgiving @ the Beach Grill, I introduced myself to Madison Keith, the owner of Roatan’s radio station, Blue Wave Radio, 101.1 FM. We have been friends on FB and comment back and forth. I had tuned in earlier in the day while running errands and he was playing Alice’s Restaurant. IT MADE MY DAY. Today after we chatted and I met his lady Greta,  he had me say on air, “Hi this is Deb, broadcasting on 101.1 FM, Blue Wave Radio, Roatan”. It’s a fab station, he plays music that makes me go, “wow, it’s been years since I have heard that song”. That’s what good radio stations do.

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Sable has a girl crush on Jefferson, one of the wait staff at the Beach Grill. He seems like a really cool guy and I can tell he really loves the dogs.

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Handsome Bandit

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Liza getting kisses from the pups

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View from the Beach Grill

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This is where we had our fantastic turkey dinner with no clean up for me!!

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Our friends Rob and Lisa own this place. It’s very popular with tourists but mainly it’s an ex-pat hang out. Olivia and I stayed at the resort attached to the restaurant, Blue Bahia, in 2010. It had different owners back then.

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I love this photo

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Driving down the beach after turkey dinner

Friday and yay!! BJ’s. Mike and Liza came over around 11 and we headed to Oak Ridge for our Spanish lessons at noon. They wandered around Oak Ridge while we learned about conjugating verbs. When class was over we all (as in the whole class) went to BJ’s and hung out for a few hours. After we left there, we came back here for toilet break and then went to Cal’s for dinner. Yummy as usual! Mike and Liza headed back to the other end of the island after dinner. Mike said the headlights of their rental were both pointed in the ditch along the side of the road, makes for a challenging drive because the roads here are pitch black.

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The Banditos

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Bill and Dennis. Dennis and Marcia have another one of our pups, Duke.

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My BFF Jeanie standing in the background, and L to R, Kathy, Mike and Liza

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L to R, Llyn, Betty, Gail and Kathy, fun loving ladies..

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Our friends Keri and Doug’s boat. They just moved here permanently from Snohomish, WA

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Love the boat name, Calabash Biter..

Saturday we cleaned around la casa. (I had Melissa over on Tuesday and she did all the windows and the tracks, it took her 5 hours to do the windows. And guess what?? They’re dirty already. It freaking rains dirt here.) Alexi came over and helped Bill clean up outside and I swept and dusted inside because friends were coming for pizza and they were bringing another one of our puppies, Tank, the big handsome brute that I had a terrible time parting with. Kevin and Claire own Blue Reef Properties . We had a fabulous evening with them, and the boys and Lola got along quite well by the end of the evening. Except Highway, who was a total freak and was banished to the bedroom with the cat.

I met another guy on FB via my blog, via Amanda’s blog. He contacted me on FB also. Sean and I have been emailing and FB’ing for a few months. He and his wife decided to come down again this Dec. from Canada and he asked me for info on where to stay; I hooked him up with Kevin and Claire and he is thrilled to be renting from them and will be here the 7th. I’m looking forward to meeting him and his wife and friends. Sounds like Sean travels like Bill used to, with my 2 girlfriends..his wife is also bringing 2 friends. My friends Mike and Liza travel with 2 other ladies, they call them the sister wives, what do you think Teri B and Olivia?? You 2 into being called sister wives??

Sunday morning we went down to Oceano to get my new couch and then made another trip to pick up one I got for my friend.  We had to get Alexi to help us because they are too heavy for me to even begin to help, they are sleeper sofas and obviously well made. We also brought home the new dog bed. Well, it’s not really a dog bed but a floor pillow, however, the dogs love it and we bought it for them.

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It matches the pillows on the new couch that we can’t get upstairs.

I had a fretful Sunday afternoon. I was really nervous because we were both flying to the mainland the next day and what if something happened, who would take care of the dogs, what would happen to them? would they be fed and spoiled and loved. And the boys, who would contact them? I frantically was making arrangements the night before thinking to myself how damn unprepared I really am. The Queen of Preparedness, the ex Girl Scout, the person who separated their rubber bands by size AND thickness. SO unprepared. I have made it a priority to do this by the end of the month. There, I’ve said it..out loud to the world, I have to do it. And girlfriend, you know who you are, let’s get on this..

Monday morning we arose at some flipping ungodly hour to ALARM CLOCKS. I hate alarm clocks. We had to get to the Roatan airport by 6. Bill sucks with airport arrival times, we were there before THEY OPENED THE DAMN PARKING LOT. And I forgot my book. Boohoo. (reading the Glass Castle) We were bound for the mainland, La Ceiba and it was currently (almost) cheaper to fly than to take the 1 hour plus Ferry. Bill is not a boat fan to begin with. We flew. I fell asleep probably before take off and I woke when the gear went down to land in Ceiba. We had 3 empty suitcases for shopping after we did our residency. Our lawyer had gotten all the papers for us and a letter from the Chamber of Commerce and we had a cabbie who spoke English (and was referred by many friends) pick us up right on time and whisked us off to the residency office. He took us in, told us what line to go to, talked to the ladies there, he had it down. I had the temporary residency papers for 4 of our friends also so Pablo took them and got their cards for me! We got our card stuff done and then we hit WALMART. Yes, a brand spanking new store too. However, it was a huge let down for me. Let me say right off the bat, I am not a Walmart woman, B U T, they do have good prices on so many things like shampoo and paper towels and soap, necessities that are so expensive here I thought I could stock up. I got a few things, like new heavy rubber floor mats for my car. Bill said they are so heavy they will decrease my mileage. hah. We left there and went to DIUNSA. They were having a big sale and we ended up buying a mattress and box springs for the guest room downstairs (Robby and Julie, Merry Christmas) and Bill got his outdoor cooktop.

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It will be nice to not have to heat up the kitchen cooking dog food and other stuff. Really, why not use it all the time?

It’s easy to get stuff shipped over, our stuff came the next day. Our driver in La Ceiba could not have been any nicer and should the need arise to go to the mainland again, we’ll be hanging with Pablo. Thanks Joe and Betty, Cindy and John and Heather and Ron.

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Brand spanking new

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This is something I’ve not seen in Roatan. Yet.

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Pablos’ seat belt lacks a hook to fasten into the part alongside the seat so he just loops it over his head.

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He got his wife Poinsettias @ Walmart

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It was a rainy drizzly gray day in Ceiba but Pablo took us to the waterfront. It looks like they have a nice Malécon too.

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Right next to the beach

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The walkway to the beach

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The benches and trash cans (and there were a lot of trash cans, unlike Roa where there are NONE) all looked very Fred Flinstoneish to me,

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They definitely decorate their trees differently, it was really pretty.

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Pablo said this place is owned by a cajun and he makes some mean gumbo.

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Nothing but the best when it comes to a boarding pass

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Cayman Airways at the La Ceiba airport

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Good sized mountains along the runway

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Yep, that’s a John Deere

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Flying over Ceiba, almost to the coastline

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Cayos Cochinos in the distance.

When we were coming in to Roa, I could see the runway and thought there is no way in hell he’s going to land, he’ll have to go around and get lower. Nope. This guy dropped the plane from a good altitude and set it down nice and smoothly on the runway. Blew my mind. He’s done this MANY times before. When we finally got home the dogs were very happy to see us, Bill ran Alexi home and I loved on the pups.

I had been dying to go to Mega Paca the last few days but they had been closed down by the DEI. They are like the IRS on steroids with flak vests and machine guns and a Terminator demeanor. I was going to write a whole blurb about it but my friend Jeanette Gartner already did so here is her link,  check it out, it’s amazing what they have done and are still doing on the island. We do not feel threatened, it just shows how very corrupt and backward this country is. However, we do NOT have mass shootings like the US is experiencing on a daily basis (it seems). People think Roatan is an unsafe place to live and some have even left because of that. Honestly, I do not feel unsafe here at any time. I use precautions just like I would in the US, I drive all over the island, alone. Are there places I won’t go? Yep. Were there places I didn’t go in Bellingham or Seattle? Yep.

Rumor was Mega Paca would be open Tuesday and to my utter delight, it was. I strolled through the housewares and my favorite color of green caught my eye. I ran around to the other side of the shelf and grabbed it. I immediately flipped it over and it is a brand spanking new green Chantal baking dish. It was $10.00. It was also going to be mine!! Score.

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So excited, the color is actually brighter, more of a lime green.

The next few weeks are going to be busy, BJ’s, Mondays Don’t Suck, a gift wrapping party and then 3 Christmas parties for the kids on various locations on the island, plus friends come in on a cruise for the day and I am picking them up and hanging out with them. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the month. Tomorrow is Spanish class, then BJ’s, Sat we are taking our friends to West Bay to get a mattress they bought then going to meet Liza and Mike, maybe snorkel, have lunch on the beach and visit with them before they head back to Oregon.

We have been dealing with foot issues with the dogs. Gringo has a sore between his toes, he was limping, Lola has her back feet licked raw and Highway’s one paw was swollen to twice it’s normal size. They are on a variety of meds right now. My concern is the meds are a band-aid because we don’t know the cause of any of this. If we stop the meds, the issues return. We may end up taking all 3 to ProVets and that will be super expensive. They come once a month from the mainland and they do testing, skin scrapings, etc.,but they charge just like the vets in the US. OUCH! 3 dogs at once..

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Highway’s foot

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Lola’s paw

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Maxillicious

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Gringo, my love..

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Barrio, Bandit’s twin

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Lola, the dog without a brain

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All of them playing on the newly fiberglassed roof. Now we have to repaint the sides of the walls because they fiberglassed part way up to keep any water from getting underneath.

I need to get something accomplished today besides organizing my closet. I have too many clothes and don’t wear half of them. I gave Melissa, my cleaning girl, a big bag of stuff and I have more for her.

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Dresses

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Skirts and tops

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Sleeveless tops and more skirts. I really am a skirt girl, I prefer them over shorts any day..

This time of year is hard down here, I miss my boys a lot. I wish I could be with them and my parents and brother and sister and Bill’s sisters for the holidays but I can’t. I get involved in so much stuff down here trying to help the kids on the island that it’s difficult for me to leave now, I’ve already committed to these things and I want to be a part of them so here is where I’ll be.

As I was surfing the net I came across this hysterical story. It’s about a man who borrowed his son’s GoPro camera to take a trip to Vegas. His son didn’t give him any lessons on how to use the GoPro, so the poor guy used it the whole vacation but had it backwards on the selfie stick. His vacation photos of Vegas are actually photos of him with some of Vegas behind him. Check it out, it’s pretty funny. Definitely a blonde thing, in other words, I could have done that.

I’ll attempt to do a better job at blogging, when I don’t have a lot of readers it almost seems like a waste of time and I get discouraged and grumpy. If there are subjects you would be interested in knowing about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fill you in with the down and dirty truth.

This photo is my cover pic on FB. I did not take it, it was taken by a friend of my friend, Laura Osterloh. I got to know Laura because her husband worked at Grizzly. Bill and I were the first people to visit their first 2 children when they were born. Jack is the oldest, then Ellie, who was born with Cystic Fibrosis and then sweet Ava. Early September Laura got sick and was sent down to Seattle where they discovered she had pancreatic cancer. She was not able to eat or to go to the bathroom due to blockages. They put stents in, did procedures that were very painful, all in an attempt to get her ready for chemo. The first few rounds of chemo did not go well and after her condition worsened the doctors decided there was not much they could do for her. She wanted to go home and be with her children so Hospice was set up in their home on the Bellingham waterfront. Her multitude of friends in Bellingham knew she loved Glassybaby candles so they made this tribute to Laura on the dock outside of the window where her bed was set up.
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Her husband posted today that she passed away this morning, she was 45 years old and leaves 3 children behind. My heart is broken. Please say a prayer for her family. Rest in peace Laura.

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24 thoughts on “In memory of Laura

  1. Kathy Chavis says:

    Love your blog. About the dog’s paws I had Shih Tzus that would do the same thing. Vet told me to clean their paws after walks and use flea powder on their paws if you have a problem with sand fleas. Putting old socks over the paw will deter them from licking. I used socks made for babies. Good luck.

  2. Amy Beasley says:

    Love reading your blog. Makes me feel like I am there. We won’t be full time until August, 2017. So sorry about your friend Laura. It serves as a reminder for me that life can be short and to live your dreams and not wait.
    I had a dog that had feet like that. We used baby wipes each time they came in from outside as the vet thought it was a contact dermatitis. That with Benadryl fixed him up. Chhers! Amy

    • Amy, I saw you two at BJ’s but didn’t get a chance to say hello, you sort of disappeared. I’ve never heard about baby wipes, I can certainly try them (providing I can find them here). We’re going to block off the Zoysia grass yard too, they may be allergic to it. Who knows, with 6 dogs it’s always something!

  3. Love all your dog pics…I’m thinking your fiberglass roof could be what has irritated your dogs’ feet. I know from repairing surfboards here in California, the fibers are just like “glass” and get under the skin quite easily.

  4. Francie says:

    Don’t you dare think about not blogging! When my inbox lets me know you’ve written everything. Else comes to a halt AND I love your photos!

  5. Love the dog pics…I have a suggestion about what could be causing their foot problems…the fiberglass roof! I can tell you from my experience repairing surfboards that it’s easy for the very fine, glass fibers to get under your skin. Something to check out.

    • Hi Julia, Good thought on the fiberglass roof but they started having issues before they were even allowed up there. We have a thick gel coat of paint on top of the fiberglass so there aren’t any fibers to worry about. We are thinking it might be the Zoysia grass we had planted for them??

  6. I so sorry for your loss, Deb! Laura’s family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I love your blogging posts, please don’t stop. I enjoy your style of writing and telling about your experiences, and of course, the beautiful photos!

  7. Jan Thorkelson says:

    Sorry about your friend, how sad to leave young children. What makes you think you don’t have many readers? I send your blog to my 2 daughters, my aunt, and several of my friends. I miss hearing about your life if I don’t see a blog every week. You do an excellent job of showing off our lives here in Roatan. Thank you very much.

  8. Suzanne says:

    I too enjoy reading your posts. They help me get an up close and personal look at the possibilities for life the rock that we hope to “retire” to. I saw the beautiful photo of the candles for your friend on facebook and wondered what that was about. I’m so sorry for the reason. She sounds like a wonderful person who will be missed by many.

  9. Suzanne says:

    I came across this on fb this morning and although it is fairly long, I thought it was beautiful and worth sharing…

    lright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
    I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
    As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
    In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
    Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
    Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

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