I am going to write a short blog today because I am officially on vacation for just a few more hours and want to make the most of my last day of pure freedom. When Robin passed away, I made a commitment that I would write one post per week for a year. So I am honoring my word (not sure if anyone else really notices or not if I miss a week) and maximizing my day as I stretch out the time on this beautiful Sunday.
After Robin died, I needed to reflect and try to improve myself. I vowed that I would worry less and be more spontaneous. With a little nudging from my close friend Gilma, I decided to plan a last minute mother daughter trip to Miami during Spring Break. The stars must have aligned as I received minimal push back from Isabelle and next thing I knew, we were booked to enjoy some sun and fun. To be honest, I was concerned about the week as it was Robin and Isabelle’s birthday. I thought creating a new tradition would help minimize any potential sadness and still honor Isabelle’s special day. In the past, we used to enjoy a week filled of joint birthday celebrations which included a large family/friends’ party. I just was not sure how this year was going to go without Robin.
Isabelle and I had a early morning flight to Miami last Monday and we were out of the house with no issues. I did not really notice anything unusual but Isabelle said to me, “Hey mom, it seems so much easier to travel with only the two of us.” Robin was not known for his great planning skills and generally any vacation was infused with stress and rushing to the airport. Our trips always included the same drill which made me nuts. We would always be late leaving the house which led to a family fight, a silent car ride to the airport and lots of aggravation. However, today all of that nonsense was gone… and I did not even notice until she pointed it out. Funny 🙂
We were pleasantly surprised to drive up to our beautiful hotel and equally excited to have a room with an incredible view of the ocean – who could ask for more? I let Isabelle choose what we should do and left all our plans open and flexible. Being a typical teenager, she decided we should just lay out at the pool, beach and try to get crispy (as she called it). I did not care what we did, I just wanted to take time to bond and relax with her. So our entire South Beach experience was managed from a lounge chair by the pool. We talked, ate, laughed and slept for 3 days straight. It was so nice just to be with her and having zero commitments.
The unexpected outcome of our time together, was getting to know Isabelle again and being able to see who she has become as an adult. It has always made me sad to think that she no longer had a father and how she was cheated out of the time that most kids have with their parents. But as I listened to her view on current events, politics, geography, music and personal ambitions, I realized.. she is her father. He had left his mark within her and I had not truly connected the dots until this moment. As an example, we listened to songs from her playlist which included Weezer – Pork and Beans as well as other groups.. what you could call the old school selections. I told her, “dad really liked that band.” She said, “yes mom I know, when I was little, daddy bought me a MP3 player and downloaded all the music he loved.” We spoke about Israel and her opinions (not totally popular in our community) and they mirrored Robin’s point of view. I had an epiphany … even though the time was short with Isabelle, he had left the good parts of himself within her. I always complained to Robin when Isabelle was little that she had none of my DNA and he would smile at me with that knowing grin. In retrospect, I am so glad that is the case – what a wonderful smart and funny gal we raised.
Isabelle and I had a really great time together and I think we walked away knowing each other a little better than we did before the trip. I wish Robin was here still and feel survivor’s guilt that I lived and he died. But I am trying to take this as a lesson and enjoy our life more and trying to honor this experience. I think our short vacation to South Beach has shown me that both Isabelle and I are on the right path to heal. And by the way, I was able to become just a slight bit crispy too. All and all, this trip was a major success…