Not this past Sunday but the Sunday before, my mum and I were sitting around the kitchen after dinner and, for some reason, I decided to check the weather in Tulum. Tulum is a small town in southern Mexico, where my paps, my mum and I vacationed last winter. I'd been to Tulum on my own, the previous year, fallen in love with it, decided to return, and my parents got on board with the plan after seeing my photos, and hearing how highly I spoke of it. Though we didn't know it at the time, it would be our last trip as a family, and my paps' last trip, period.
Anyway, back to two Sunday nights ago.
I checked the weather on my phone, and said to my mum: It's 29 degrees (Celsius) in Tulum right now. The next thing I knew, we were running to our computers to check the price of flights. Within 2 hours, we had flights and accommodations (in the same complex we stayed in last year) booked. We left last Tuesday and got back last night.
We'd planned to return to Tulum this past winter, before anything happened with my paps. But then, of course, everything changed. And then we decided to move. And there was/is a lot to do before I open the shop. So those plans were put on the back burner. My mum and I both also wondered how we'd do there without him. It's probably fair to say that, since my paps' death, we have asked ourselves something along those lines in the face of most things. Will this make us feel better or worse?
But I'd been working on shop stuff non-stop for months.
And my mum's been selling the house and prepping for the move and storage and finding a place to stay on PEI and...
We've been up to our eyeballs in decisions and figuring things out and coordinating and...
Suddenly, two Sunday nights ago, a last-minute getaway to Tulum felt exactly like what we needed.
So we went.
Will this make us feel better or worse?
There are lots of memories there.
I saw him in the pool, with a drink in one hand and a book in the other, working on his tan.
I saw him in our favourite restaurants.
That's where he sat. That's where we took the photos.
I heard him as he waited for us to get ready for dinner.
Where do you want to eat, paps?
Oh, you girls decide!
That's where the man called him Mr. Moustache.
That's the bike he rode into the pueblo that day when he wanted to go discovering.
He's everywhere there.
We went for long walks on the beach.
We drank fruity drinks served in coconuts.
And, yes, there were a few tears but the sun and the sea and the memories and his presence filled our hearts.
Instead of making us feel sad, it was a comfort.
As though we were all there again, the three of us, on a family vacation.
Because, of course, we were.