A Trip to be Forgotten

April 23, 2012
By Anonymous

My world was shaken to its core the day my father died. He had only been sick for a short time, so there was no time to brace myself for the coming tragedy. Had it not been for my mother, I’m not sure I would have been able to carry on. Even though she had lost her husband, she always there for me, first and foremost. Her unconditional love and compassion molded me into the person I am today.

In order to keep my mind occupied and away from the sadness, my mom went out of her way to plan trips, encouraged me to play a lot more tennis, and put school on hold in order for me to heal. My attempts to study were labored and fruitless, and she decided sports and travel were what I needed at the time. She relinquished a formerly busy social life to make sure she was with me as much as possible. She took over father-son activities, such as hockey games, tennis matches, and trips to the movies. In order to retain a sense of normalcy, she decided we would take our usual Christmas holiday to the Island of Nevis, in the Caribbean.

As we stepped off the plane into the warm island breezes, I was hit in the heart with a tidal wave of memories. My mother remained strong and stoic, not showing her true feelings and emotions. Word traveled quickly of my father’s death, as the island of Nevis is painfully small and insular. My mother responded to expressions of condolence with a polite, “Thank you, he was very fond of you”. To her, it was never about our loss, but the loss of everyone else that knew him.

We returned to the same hotel we had stayed at for the past twelve years, and were greeted by the owners and many other familiar faces. We took a swim, and settled into our cottage, but it just wasn’t the same as years past. After returning from a walk that night, I heard my mother sobbing. “Why did we come here? What was I thinking?” It was December, freezing cold in New York, and here we were in a tropical paradise. What was wrong with us? What was wrong was that my father wasn’t here, and all attempts at having fun had been in vain. We visited all of our familiar haunts; the beach bars, the restraunts, the shops, but nothing seemed right or the same. We avoided certain places that we knew would be too emotionally draining to return to.

When my mother inquired, “What would you like to do for New Year’s Eve?” I replied, “Go home”. However, no flights were available. The welcoming oasis of home was still a long three days away. We packed our bags in anticipation, ready to go, in case of a flight cancellation. The call finally came, and the taxi soon after. We were whisked to the boat to the neighboring island, which was home to the airport. The plane took off, two hours late, but most importantly, we were on our way home. Nevis was in our rear view mirror, never to be revisited by us again.

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