Hello everyone, this is my first blog entry ever, I am about 18 months behind. I want it to be a reflection of how I got here, Larry has been encouraging me to write one and I keep putting it off. In January it will be three years since I lost my mom and it's about time for me to write one. We are now the owners of our second, and hopefully forever, boat. The process of outfitting for cruising and the transition for life aboard is a slow and steady walk. We are checking off the list little by little. So here it is, I hope you enjoy.
It's been almost three years since my phone rang at 3:30 am to the sound of my grandmothers voice telling me my mother had passed away from an overdose. You always think that this is the sort of crap that you watch in some super dramatic movie and the cliche line of "a phone call can change everything you know" becomes your reality. So what does this have to do with sailing you're wondering right about now? Stick with me for a bit. The following day was spent in a whirlwind of disbelief, tears and shock. I'll leave all the details out but, suffice it to say, it took many days to make all the final arrangements and set a memorial date.
Now I know I am not the only one who has ever lost a parent but mine was always struggling with keeping us going and her own issues of substance abuse. My childhood was not very stable. I'm not telling you all of this for anything other then a background on me so you will understand my ability to adapt. Anyway enough of that. During all of this I kept coming back to the one question I always asked myself about my mother. Why was her life so hard? Why was she so unhappy? I think these are questions we all ask ourselves at some point but in her case she was unable to take the steps to change it. So here is my not so profound conclusion...fear. Fear that was so strong and controlling that she was unable to see herself out of the destructive patterns she was in. Her fear was so big she couldn't find a way out and it made her choices for her. I refused to let that be me. I could not imagine spending my life so afraid and having it holding me back from real happiness. Little did I know I would find it on a sailboat. I have always loved the ocean and travel. I spent time overseas as a teen and ever since then i have wanted to see more of the world. I want you all to have the background story to fully get my state of mind. Now we come to the sailing......
It was about two weeks after the funeral when I walked into the work room and Larry saw that it was a bad day, grief seems to have a pattern. I was having a very bad day! Now my man has a great sense of humor and uncanny timing so when he looked at me with his sly grin I knew something interesting was about to pop out of his mouth. Wait for it....... "we should buy a boat!". "Doesn't that sound like fun?". I promptly replied "a boat are you crazy!? Um no,we are not buying a boat!". Little did I know but that perfectly timed question would lead me to the salvation of dealing with the loss of my mother. When I walked back in the house shaking my head, thinking he was nuts, I stood still long enough to ask myself why I had answered that way. Was it fear? The same kind of fear I spent countless years watching her struggle with? The answer was both yes and no, but likely a little more yes. I turned around, walked back into the room, and said "Ok let's buy a boat!".
Sometimes the universe gives us the time and opportunity to find our true selves. I believe that was my moment. My moment to overcome fear and find hope again on a little boat that had been well loved, to find strength and courage that i didn't know I had. To grab with both hands something real and beautiful that would lead me down a three year journey to hope. To see into the eyes of the life our little harbor could offer and befriend otters, birds, seals and many other sweet creatures. To get a chance to watch the dolphins show me their joy in the simplest things. To stare deeply into the gaze of a humpback whale and feel the wonder and suprise with my children when they watched a blue whale surface a few feet away. Having the most magical moments of my life while I plowed through my grief the way my boat would the water. How many people get to do that? What an incredible gift! How many times had I just kept pushing with nothing to guide me? Our little floating home offered me solace and for that I will be forever grateful.
Hope, faith, trust and joy that's what sailing is for me. Of course, outfitting a boat for full time cruising is a challenge in and of itself but that's for another entry.
Heres to hoping the ocean helps everyone find a little piece of their true selves.
(see the photo album "Ambers first blog entry" for more photo's.)
Click here...Ambers first blog entry