Recently I have been looking at other “widow blogs” out of curiosity. I am so new to this blogging thing and wanted to see how others do it. There are a bunch that I really like. One post that I read this morning was about how the author wished they had done some things differently before her husband died.
What grabbed my attention was her wish that they had taken more vacations. It got me thinking…
Nobody loved a beach vacation more than Howie. It is also one of my favorite things. It was something we completely had in common. We didn’t travel the world together – I have never even been to Europe. That was something I thought we would do as we got older, maybe once the girls were in college. But we did go to many beaches together.
Some people are savers. Howie was not. He was not irresponsible with money, but he liked to live life. He liked nice restaurants, nice cars (nothing crazy) and vacations.
The expression “live life to the fullest” keeps popping into my head. I guess that is what he did. I didn’t realize until now how much that really meant.
Our first beach vacation was while we were still dating. I remember thinking we were going to get engaged on that trip – which we did not! Then later our honeymoon. We took a couple of trips when we were first married.
After the girls were born, we took more vacations with them. We rented a beach house with another family, we went on group trips with a bunch of families, other trips with just one family, and sometimes just the four of us. The last few years our schedule was: Florida in February, a beach resort in April, and down to the beach in NJ for a few days at the end of the summer (I am sorry NJ people – this NY girl still cannot utter the expression “down the shore“.)
We did not travel very extravagantly and always tried to get the best deals we could, but obviously these trips cost money. Every time we were thinking about booking one, we would always say “maybe we don’t need one more vacation.” 90% of the time would book it anyway.
So now that Howie is gone, would I have a little bit more money if we hadn’t gone on all those vacations? Yes probably. But I wouldn’t have traded them for the world.
Those are the most amazing memories I have. Remembering the four of us on the beach and going for family dinners, or with our friends and seeing the kids all playing together, are priceless to me. They are also the funniest memories I have. OUr friends and I still laugh hysterically over some of the crazy things that happened on those trips. I also took a lot of pictures on vacations, and it is so nice to go back and look at them now.
So to vacation or not to vacation?
I would never advise anyone to go into debt or anything, but when you have the chance – take more vacation time. Not just because you never know when something tragic might happen – but because they are fun and you will create memories that you will have forever.
I still love beach vacations and do still try to take the girls when we can. I don’t think either one of them has inherited our true love for the beach, which I do not understand! But it is truly my favorite place to be. If I do end up with someone else one day, that is definitely in my criteria 😉
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.