Back from Cozumel

I’ve just returned from a scuba-diving trip to Cozumel* with some friends.  The diving was splendid, the weather perfect, and the food terrible.  This was my second trip out of town without my sweetheart and takeoffs and landings are still tough.  Flying back home back to “real life” was especially tough.  Overall, the trip was a nice distraction and I met a few new nice people, too.

*  In case you are looking for a cheap getaway, we stayed at the all-inclusive resort Allegro Cozumel.  It was decent but while we were there they were running a special for rooms for $50 per night, everything included (food and booze.)  Not too bad!  You can scuba dive with their on-site dive shop Dive Palancar.  On a 1-10 scale I’d give it a solid 5. 

I’ve made lots of big talked about moving on with her in my heart.  I’m trying.  I felt her right beside me at 90 feet under the sea, holding my hand as I watched fish munch in coral and lobsters scurry to hide.  But I missed her so much the entire trip.  She would have had so much fun with it all.  This was right up her alley.  Maggie was never the most graceful of scuba divers.  She’d tumble around underwater like a curious, clumsy kid, sometimes crashing into things in her urgent desire to experience it all.  And, out of the water, the way she’d recap the dive with even more excitement touched my heart.  It’s so, so strange to not have that voice around anymore.  It’s very weird being so alone now, even with friends.  It still feels unreal.

A few people have asked about the Messages to Maggie from the memorial service.  They are sitting, untouched and still in the same basket, on my little alter to Maggie by the fireplace.  They share the space with a few papers containing her obituary I bought that day, a few select pictures, and a plastic rose that Bonnie gave me, all gathering dust.  I’ll burn them one day, like I promised.

Maggie’s memorial fund has about $3,300 in it right now.  The goal should be to help a Fall ’10 graduate attend school.  Right now, there’s quite a ways to go although it would certainly be a solid start.

Her side of the closet is still exactly as she left it last despite my big talk of packing things up.  I’m not terribly motivated to get started but I’m not ambivalent either.  I think it might be easier now than it would have a few weeks ago.  But it’ll sit for a while more, I’m sure.

Then there’re so, so many other things:  her phone (which is still turned on and I check every day), her makeup, her paint stuff, her computer, her collections of memorabilia.  It’s all very overwhelming.

Overall, I’ve been staying very happy.  I smile every day (sometimes by force.)  I’ve been driving her little convertible around with the top down and the radio blasting.  I can’t help but smile with all that going on.  It is true, you know.  You can choose to smile or you can choose something else.  Yeah, sometimes the emotions catch up and you have to let them run (I can’t tell you how many times while in Cozumel I excused myself to the bathroom for a little emotional catch up.)  But you have an amazing amount of control over how you choose to feel.  Well, like I said in a previous post, the sad bucket for this year runneth over.  It’s time to tip the scales the other direction.  I choose to be happy.

7 thoughts on “Back from Cozumel

  1. i agree, a person does have a lot of control over their feelings. i’m glad you had a nice scuba vacation. keep taking care of yourself! and keep driving Maggie’s car around 🙂

  2. Good for you!!!!!! You’re doing great. Your mom is flying out on the 6th to go to a luncheon with me. How about putting the two puppies in the convertible and making it out here for that weekend end? Only if you want to. Just a suggestion. Keep on smilin’. Love,

  3. I still look to see everyday if you wrote something. Maggie and you are not easy to forget. I’m honored that you put my single wooden rose I gave you up there with other thing’s that meant a lot to you.Yes Chris, when you smile it will be for many reason’s,and I feel Maggie will be behind all of them!

  4. My daughther was over yesterday, crying because of her failed marraige. I informed her that I understood, but to some extent, happiness is a choice, and that life is too short to be so sad. I choose to be positive and happy and move forward with life despite the fact that I, too, have stage 4 colon cancer like Maggie. Life is really all about choices.

  5. Chris, your attitude is awesome! I think about you all the time…weird I realize. However, with continuing your blog, it’s like it getting to read a great book that never ends. Better explanation…I’ve read many books that I wished had a sequel, but didn’t. Your story goes on, and it’s tremendously interesting and well-written.

    I drove through Austin a week ago to pick up my son in San Antonio. Couldn’t help but wonder what you were doing and hoping it was something that put a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. Take care! I’m rooting for you! And, praying.

  6. Hey Chris –

    Thanks for this story. Thanks for the smiles and tears. You also reminded me that Maggie’s number is still in my phone. I come across it about every other day and wonder if I should delete it and the conclusion is always, “Not any time soon.”

    Not that I think I’m doing her any kind of honor by leaving it there. More like I want to keep it there so I am SURE to be consistently reminded of her, what it was like being around her, and what she taught me…

    Your pal,

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