We decided right after everything happened with Dad that Longboat Key was going to be the lesser of 2 evils for Christmas. If we stayed in Cincinnati, it would be painfully obvious he was missing in all of the traditions we have done the last 30+ years. SO – the next alternative was to go to his favorite place – LBK. Although the idea was nice, it was still so painfully hard being down there without him. Everything reminds us of him down there. It was the bright spot to to his year and our last trip there in July was just a couple of weeks before everything happened.
BUT – It ended up being the perfect decision. Although it was really, really tough – we were exactly where Dad would have wanted us to be. With each other. On Longboat Key.
The mornings in LBK were my time with Dad. My time to catch up with him, get advice, and just talk everything. Walking in the mornings this time was hard, it was different, but I felt at peace just thinking of him with every step. And I brought a new sidekick with me – Bea.
My younger sister and her husband went all out to try and lift spirits during our trip. They packed all sorts of things to host a Christmas Eve party with a full step and repeat, favors, awards, and SANDta even made an appearance. It was so so fun and Bea (who had previously been afraid of Santa) LOVED it.
Overall, the anticipation of the holiday was worse than the holiday itself. Being out of town helped gloss over Christmas and focus on just hanging out with each other, again, that’s what Dad would have wanted.
[Traveling with two kids – nerve-racking but actually not too bad….]
[When the flood happened, all of the clothing I lost was soaked and ended up frozen outside in garbage bags. My first reaction was to just let it all go but a couple of friends and my sisters helped me sort through and keep a few things. One friend took my stuff to her garage, let it dry, and then took it to the dry cleaner – all within a couple of days so I had clothing for Florida. A saint. 🙂 ]