This word in Spanish means “preparations.” I have been preparing, packing, and getting ready to fly to my favorite island in the Caribbean to spend a whole month of time.
When my husband and I visited this lovely island in February, 2020, we stayed at a friend’s house on a lovely beach on the Caribbean Sea on the western shores of the island.
There were a few mornings when the water was almost flat–no waves to speak of. My husband never learned to swim. He was reluctant even to wade knee-deep into the water.
One morning, I was able to get him to walk out into the water, lay back, and float while holding him gently. He loved it, though he remained in the water only briefly.
Fast forward to autumn when my husband knew (though I refused to acknowledge) that he was going to die due to pancreatic cancer, he made plans for how he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in two places.
One setting was in a garden in our back yard. This past March, I prepared the garden and had a few of my family join me while I scattered half of his ashes in that garden. That was really tough for me to do.
I meditate at this garden every day, thinking of the joy, love, and many cherished memories of the man who completed me.
The second setting where my husband asked me to scatter his ashes is on the Caribbean Sea. He asked for this specifically because the Caribbean was “the only ocean I can swim in.”
Also… I did not know it then, but Christmas Day was the last day that my husband was in our house. He was so dreadfully sick with an infection introduced during a hospitalization in mid-December. The infection caused kidney failure and was not treatable.
He had become delirious and unable to communicate. I had to invoke my rights as his health care proxy under his Advanced Medical Directive to tell them to stop treatment on “new year’s eve,” December 31. I had friends from my fire department transport him (with me in the back holding his hand all the way) to a hospice facility near our home… to die on January 5.
Thus, I no longer “celebrate” or want to recognize Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Day, and my heart is heavy for the “one year since he let go” date in early January.
For all of these reasons, I am going to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, December 15, and will stay four weeks.
I will house-sit for a friend who lives in Western Puerto Rico while she and her husband fly stateside to be with family for the holidays.
I plan to meditate, lay on lovely beaches, and explore with my really great camera that my husband bought for me last year. I will read, rest, and “extract” myself from the world, to be at peace with my thoughts, memories, and love for my better half of almost 28 years.
I have many friends who live there, so I will not be alone. The friends for whom I am housesitting return on January 4. Two of my friends from the mainland also will fly to Puerto Rico that week.
Eleven of us, including me, will take a chartered boat onto the Caribbean Sea, weather permitting, on January 7 to support me as I fulfill my husband’s last wishes.
I have a ticket to return home on January 12. I’m sure my friends will want to get their lives and house back.
As the spirit moves me, I will post on this blog while I am there.
Life is short: honor last wishes tenderly.