Nearly 39 years ago my husband and I together took a bold step – we got married.
Three years ago, we embarked on our first transatlantic cruise to celebrate that anniversary.
Then our world fell apart.
Today, we’re again traveling to another transatlantic cruise, and I’m feeling, well, frankly, a little triggered.
Let me tell you about it.
We loved our time on the Regal Princess Maiden Transatlantic Passage in 2014 … we had days of fun in port and on the sea. We relaxed, met wonderful new people, had a blast. We returned home to our jobs, our family, our house, our lives in early November.
In December all hell broke loose. Pete had been told he needed gall bladder surgery, and, in the course of time, that unsuccessful surgery and another that followed caused him to develop necrotizing pancreatitis. We had a harrowing journey by ambulance in an ice storm to a regional medical center, and then a nail-biting three months of recovery there, followed by many more at home.
We’ve been told that 60% of people die of necrotizing pancreatitis, and that his doctors didn’t think he would make it. It wasn’t easy or pretty, but he did, by the grace of God. Many, many prayers – my own and those of many others literally around the world -- contributed to Pete’s recovery. There were many sleepless nights for me, many scary days, and many challenges along the way. It was an ordeal for both of us, for very different reasons.
By our next anniversary, in 2015, Pete was a bit better. Not ready to cruise yet, but beginning to think about getting back to work fulltime. We actually planned a cruise for that month, and then cancelled it because he just wasn’t up for it. We did the same for one we planned in January of 2016. In fact, it wasn’t until August of 2016 that we were able to resume our traveling lives … we took a 19-day Norway cruise on the Pacific Princess. What an amazing, redeeming time! We were back in our groove: We’d found our traveling mojo again!
And now we’re about to leave for Barcelona and a transatlantic cruise, this time on the Regal’s sister ship, the Royal Princess. I’m excited, sure, and, as a marriage and family therapist, I need to get away and recharge. However, it’s feeling a bit like the spectre of 2014 is looming over my head, and that bad things are around the corner. I know that’s ridiculous, but it’s nevertheless true.
It’s more likely that we’ll relax, meet wonderful new people, have a blast, and eventually return rejuvenated and healthy to our “real” life.
Come along with us on the journey and see how it goes.