It’s the second date that comes after the dash, as in 3/13/1993 - 12/4/2006. Those are my daughter’s two dates. I hate that she has a second date.
So what do I do?
Marc and I run away to our townhouse in Florida. Against what I’d prefer, Eric convinces me he’d rather stay home with his friends but wants me and Marc to go. Fine, he’s 18 and that’s his choice but I still question if he’s ok. We all handle Jena’s “moving up” day in our own way and Eric assures me he’s fine.
So Marc and I plan our trip to Disney and know Eric will have his friends over the house while we’re away. Our house will morph into Dorm-Cassalina, Doritos will be eaten for breakfast which I am sure will be around noon and I doubt the house will look or smell like I left it. So be it.
We land in Orlando airport, rent a convertible and are at our townhouse by lunch. I check our closet for “staples” and sure enough they’re right where we left them…
I pour a glass of wine and the memories of being here flood my mind.
We bought the townhouse over 6 years ago when we realized that Jena’s lungs couldn’t handle the harsh NY winters.
Rather than being stuck inside watching life from their window, I would take the kids down here right after New Year’s Day and stay until Easter. Here they could ride their bikes, swim, and we’d make our way over to Disney just about every day. As parents we were determined to give our kids every opportunity to enjoy life despite the obstacles CF created.
As I sit here basking in the sunshine with my feet dangling in the pool...
...I think of all the great memories and can totally see why Jena called this her favorite place on earth. Now I know why we came here for the second date.
A little blonde haired girl just ran by me and jumped in the pool with her daddy. Tears start to roll as I smile at the joy I recognize in their faces. What I am realizing is that I can’t run away from the pain and grief. I am slowly accepting it will always follow me. I guess I am also learning that memories are precious, that Jena is with me always, and that smiles and tears are ok.
Second dates suck but the dash makes it all worth while.
Make your dash count.