Good To Be Alive


Did you miss me last week?

Last Friday, I thought about all of you — but I was still at sea. Friday, I was in Cozumel on a bar hop. I have been on the bar hop, before; in 2015, with my husband. Unfortunately, in 2015, I experienced my vacation in a travel wheelchair, and even though one of the restaurants towers over Cozumel at an amazing 41 feet above sea level, I struggled to get to the top and had a rough time coming back down the stone steps.

This time, I got to venture around and see the amazing views as well as the neat animals on site at that particular restaurant. Although the entire cruise was full of high points, that was a great one for me; I conquered something that was out of reach to me previously. While the friend I traveled with certainly understands what I’ve been through, I admit I wish my husband could have seen me, there. Probably no one on earth knows better what I’ve been through than him, and I know he would have appreciated my slaying that dragon.

Snorkeling in Belize – what a wonderful experience!

Before that, we spent the day relaxing in the water at a beach club in Roatan, and then off to snorkel in Belize the next day. I had some trouble keeping up with the intermediate snorkeling group, but it was because I misjudged the type of excursion and brought short exercise fins instead of full-size fins. Regardless, I was along for the entirety with no issues except a few sore muscles the next day.

I flew on a plane and didn’t need seat belt extensions in either direction. No one hesitated to sit next to me on the plane, although I lucked out with an empty seat next to me on one leg of the flight. Airports weren’t an issue, and neither was the very long line through customs at the cruise port. Next time, though, I’ll pack less!

I walked and walked and walked; there were a few times my original equipment knee got a little cranky, so we just took an elevator, but otherwise? I don’t feel like I was held back from doing the things I wanted to do. I came home without issues, and other than being patted down six times in nine days by TSA and ship security (traveling with artificial joints means I’ll likely always go through this), everything went smoothly.

In all, my time traveling with a dear friend felt blissfully wonderful and normal; I existed in a world where very few knew my history. While some of my scars are pretty evident — I carry a great deal of excess skin, and was once asked about it — the only thing I felt like I wanted to do, and didn’t, was dance. Next time! Definitely the next time. (Hint to my local friends: someone needs to teach me the Wobble.)

Sure, I have a few pounds to drop after taking a bit of a food holiday, but normal folks go through that, too. It’ll be off again in a couple of weeks.

I brought my 57th year in with a bang. I realized I’m looking down the barrel at 60, but I feel my age less, now, than I ever have. Being free to do just about anything without restriction is the biggest gift I could have given myself.


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