Duck boat – May 27, 2005


Here are Sandy, Shannon, Andy, Mark and me getting ready to go on the duck boat tour in downtown Philadelphia. It was absolutely the worst tour I’ve ever been on. The cool thing about the duck boats is that they’re amphibious. Unfortunately, the boat ramp near the tour was under construction at the time, so they had to take us to another boat ramp. That was a bit far away, so we took the freeway. Note to the reader: never ride in an open duck boat on the freeway. It was loud, windy, uncomfortable, and horrible. Great Art courtesy of Scott’s old Kodak camera, taken by Scott during their May 2005 trip to our house in Doylestown just before we moved to Northern California, and part of my famous Shannon and Machinery series.

Had a pretty good day today, although it started out fairly strangely. I was scheduled to go to one of the local Cabo resorts, where I would have access to their private beach area and swimming pool. The excursion also included a Mexican lunch buffet and one drink. We were supposed to meet in the theater, where we would be escorted to the dock and into the loving care of the tour operators. Five people showed up in the theater, only to discover nobody waiting there for us. We finally got in touch with the lady at the Excursion desk and she discovered that the date printed on all our tickets was yesterday. We all responded vociferously that we were absolutely positive we had booked the excursion for today. The woman pretty snottily told us that was impossible and we were all mistaken. However, they agreed to honor our tickets and we went ashore. The tour operators were great and took excellent care of us, so the day turned out well. Plus, I made four new friends who were very nice, so that made the day that much better. One of the ladies is a former Carnival employee who worked for years with several of the people aboard our ship, including the captain. She has promised to raise a little bit of hell over this issue.

Oh, by the way, after the excursion, I checked my receipt, and I was right – the excursion was booked for today. It’ll be interesting to see if my new friend really has any pull with the cruise line. I wouldn’t mind if they refunded my money. I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t, though. In spite of the very unpleasant start, the excursion was everything I had hoped for.

Tomorrow’s horseback riding excursion has been canceled, sadly. Apparently, there wasn’t enough interest. I was really looking forward to that one. A couple of my dinner table companions are going to another beach resort in Puerto Vallarta and they convinced me to go with them. This one is apparently a bit of a boat ride away from the dock, on a little island somewhere with an excellent buffet, kayaking, snorkeling, lying on the beach, and various other things. Details tomorrow.

Nothing else new. I’m enjoying this cruise and getting to know a few people. That’s just what I had hoped for. As is usual on cruises, I haven’t felt hungry since the day I got here. I’m not bothering to do anything about that until I get home, after which time I will start eating a bit better.

I walked the promenade deck after dinner again tonight for half an hour or so. I really need that time to reflect on my circumstances, think of Shannon, mourn some more, remember what it’s like to feel in love, feel the pain of separation again, and renew my resolve to live happily. It’s hard, but necessary right now. Soon, I’ll be able to be alone with my thoughts without it hurting so badly, but I never want to forget and I never want to fall out of love with Shannon. That means the pain will never go away, but I have confidence it will become manageable. Sandy wrote a comment on yesterday’s post telling me she wishes she could take away the pain. Thank you, Sandy. I’m truly grateful. I wish it were possible too, but it’s not. In fact, as the time since Shannon’s death passes and the last time I saw her and spoke with her grows farther into the past, the longing has gotten stronger and the pain has gotten deeper. I’m sure this is normal. At the same time, though, I feel like my ability to endure this pain has also grown.

Before Shannon got sick, I spent many, many years comfortably allowing her to care for practically my every need. After her illness began, though, I had to start taking over a few responsibilities around the house and in her medical care, even though she continued to serve me wherever and whenever the opportunity arose. These new responsibilities helped me learn some skills that were sorely lacking and gave me a small opportunity to pay back a tiny portion of the loving care she had given me for so long. I counted it as a privilege and it was also a great learning experience. I think I became a stronger, better, and more loving person as a result. I’m trying to look at the pain of separation as another learning experience and I’m sure the effect on me will be similar. I think I will be stronger, more self-reliant, and more capable of giving and expressing love than I was before. I wish there were another way to learn these lessons, but I’ll have to take what I’ve been given. In a very real way, Shannon is still serving me.

Enough for tonight. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: Jello theft!

See you tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Duck boat – May 27, 2005”

  1. Julie Pita Says:

    Is it just me or do you have the same look on your face as the duck on the door behind you?

  2. Sandy Langdorf Says:

    Actually, I think I kind of look like the duck – yikes! That was the worst tour ever, and yet I remember it more than some of the good ones. Go figure! I’m glad you have such a beautiful understanding of your pain and grief. I’m sure you will come out a stronger person. Still wish I could take the pain away and give you a day off – but that’s just because I’m your big sister and love you.

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