November 29, 2012

Last night we ventured out from our resort area and attempted to have dinner with the locals.  Talk about out of my comfort zone.  The driving here in Punta Cana is crazy and Dan and I watched from the back of the van as our host John navigated winding roads and people on motorcycles who all appeared to have a death wish.  

There were dogs in the streets and poverty everywhere and very little English being spoken.  The menu was all in Spanish and despite our waiter Miguel's best efforts, some things were lost in translation.  It is an uneasy feeling to be in a place where nothing is familiar.

Last night's adventure could be a metaphor for my life right now - nothing is familiar, and I am uneasy.

I know I am on vacation and I know I should relax and enjoy, but everything just feels a little off.  We don't go very long without thinking about Erin or Shannon and that brings us back.  We have lived in this small cocoon of safe people and places over the past 21 months and it is hard to move outside that bubble and not feel a little lost.  Even in the beauty of the Caribbean, we feel the weight of the shifts our world has taken.  It is hard to do small talk and it is hard to accept that we are changed forever.

But, being somewhere else is also a good reminder that the world is a big, beautiful place.  As Dan and I walked the beach together this morning, we agreed we want to see more of it.  And we do enjoy doing it together.  And with Erin, too.  Yes, we are changed, but we must go on and live and experience what we can while we are here.  Isn't that one of Shannon's lessons?  Make the most of the time you have?

Learning to accept what has happened, learning to dream about what we want, figuring out how to be our best selves going forward.   Grief and forward progress take work.  No way around that.

Dan and I are headed back to the beach with our books this afternoon to sit and read while the waves lap in against the shore.  Very nice.  Or should I say "muy bonito".  Coming home tomorrow...