Several years ago as our children were beginning serious relationships, I had a dream. I wanted to set the third week in October as our family vacation. Jeff and I would make the arrangements, of course it should be on a beach. The kids and their families would come for as many days as possible. This would become our Thanksgiving and perhaps our Christmas.
When our kids were small we lived a thousand miles from Grandpa and Grandma’s. This allowed us to created our own traditions. It was our family’s time. As they grew we made a few trips home and eventually moved closer and lost some of those traditions. To this day the best holidays we have are when it’s back to just us. This idea of family vacation took any pressure and guilt away from trying to figure out where to spend the holidays. By keeping our family activities a distance from the holidays we would be able to spend time together and when the holidays arrive, be where you want to be, not where you feel you should be.
October 2007 was the first time it really worked. We had rented a place in Florida and everyone could come. Plane tickets purchased, week’s rental on the condo paid.
The breakup occurred the week before the vacation. Not only did we have questions about the wedding but what about Florida? Raun would come alone which meant fly alone, something he had not done. Not only was he dealing with the break up but had been experiencing panic attaches for the past 9 months, this much change and the anticipation of the vacation only enhanced his sense of panic.
With a few flight changes he would arrive earlier and spend the majority of the week with us. Austyn and Brian would arrive mid week. This year we had invited my side of the family to join us. We had people flying in and out daily. The week was full of great conversations, cousins getting caught up on each other’s lives and a ton of cooking. It was great.
On Friday afternoon as we sat by the pool, I realized that Jeff had been on the phone for quit a while. Who’s he talking to? No one knew for sure. As he made his way to the cabana I noticed an unusual expression.
“Well,” he said as he stood next to me, “the company’s been sold.” The company Jeff had been employed with for the past 18 years was struggling and we knew that there needed to be a change or there would be no company at all. This could be a good thing, however it would require a move.
All that was going through my mind was the fact that we have a wedding; I don’t think we can handle a move. I was finding it difficult to breath.
“It’s either Nashville or somewhere in California”
Well isn’t that exciting? It was getting more difficult to breath. Jeff loved living in Chicago. We had moved downtown almost 4 years ago and he felt as if he had found his home. We had a small 2 bedroom condo in a 100 year old building. It was a three story walk up and we had joked that we would be there until we couldn’t take the stairs. A move was not anywhere in the plans, but neither was being jobless.
The following week there would interviews and discussion with the new company. We would have to wait until then.