South Carolina

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            Dad and I just got back from a trip to the southern part of South Carolina and the northern part of Georgia. It was a very nice trip. We saw a lot of historical and esthetically pleasing sites, walked, swam, and ate enough seafood to fill a couple of aquariums. We saw beautiful flowers and palm trees at a time when central Ohio trees are just budding. We stayed mainly along the ocean around Hilton Head, Savannah, and Charleston. We also visited a couple of my dad’s long time friends. They were a very nice couple in their eighties. Dad used to work with the man. He and his wife have been friends of my parents for many, many years. My parents had made this trip many times over the years (mainly by plane). The couple lives in a beautiful retirement community along with some sixteen thousand other senior residents. It was an amazing settlement. There was everything within the community one could ever want: places to shop, a selection of restaurants, a library, pool, lakes, bike and walking paths, a lot of open wooded land, beautiful landscaping, three golf courses, and much more. What I really liked was that whenever a senior was ready to give up driving a car they would be supplied with a golf cart with which they could reach every area of the community.

            Crystal didn’t come with us. She felt that all of the driving and moving around would be too stressful. She hadn’t been feeling well for a while. When I called her, I asked if I could put a down payment on one of the houses. We are over fifty-five and could move in any time. She gave the appropriate snicker and I resumed my detailed report. The one thing I have to admit was that Crystal was right. The trip, while totally wonderful was somewhat strenuous. The night after I got home I slept for about fourteen hours straight.

            Somehow during the trip, health issues notwithstanding, I kept thinking how much more enjoyable it would have been if Crystal had been with us. I am absolutely certain my dad had similar thoughts. However, it was not so much Crystal he missed, but Mimi. After sixty-four years of marriage how could he not? They had taken this trip many times since dad’s retirement. Heck, they had taken many trips together: Florida, Europe, and even Hawaii (eleven times). For me, and I know Dad and I are similar in this, half the fun of vacationing is having an adventure with someone you love. While I love my dad, he can’t replace Crystal, and I know I can’t replace Mimi. I also think this is what makes marriage worth fighting for. This is one of those benefits that make all of the work at marriage worth it. This is why our book will someday be published. While officially a marriage ends with the death of a spouse, the memories will live on as long as one of you is still alive. Often many of those memories, especially the good ones, will go on in your family and friends beyond even your lifetime. I know it will with Crystal and my parents.


SC trip 2014 022

Dad and I in Hilton Head South Carolina

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