Our fun-loving niece Monica organized a fun-in-the-sun family vacation in Clearwater, Florida for five days. Seventeen family members traveled from different parts of the country to rent a big beautiful house on the Gulf of Mexico.
I always get a little nervous just before we are about to experience a new environment or new situation. As we were traveling to Clearwater my thoughts drifted to a previous family ski vacation in Colorado a little over a year ago. A little over a year ago my life was so different because I didn’t know I had ALS and I was participating fully in all of the activities including skiing down a mountain. I couldn’t help but think about all of the fun we had preparing meals, playing games and the beautiful conversations I was involved in. I’m thinking that this family vacation will be so much different because now I can hardly do any of those things. I am thinking, ‘Will I be able to find as much joy during this family vacation as I did last time?’
Shortly after we arrived at our destination my fears started to fade away. The house Monica rented for the weekend was absolutely beautiful. After everyone started arriving our vacation house felt like our home complete with a large family-size table to hold all seventeen of us and a large comfy family room with a view of the Gulf. Everything was perfect except we were missing some family members that weren’t able to join us this time.
I guess what I love the most about being together with people I love is to listen to the exciting things that are happening in their lives, especially our nieces and nephews’ lives because they all are doing some pretty amazing things. Our great niece Skylar and our great nephew Landon with their smiles, beautiful singing voices and charm help to bring silliness to our party. Mark’s side of our family is great and always brings bright life to a gathering because they all laugh a lot, especially his sisters.
As I lay in bed thinking about our first day of vacation I can honestly say I found pure joy. The pure joy came because of the pure love of our family.