Because there were five of us staying in one room, we had to upgrade to a suite, the “Premium” package, if you will. It came with all sorts of perks, including a platinum wristband and an exclusive lounge.
To start off, instead of standing in line with all the regular folks, we were ushered into the air conditioned lounge, brought fancy drinks in champagne glasses and welcomed to sit in nice chairs while we checked in. There were beverages and snacks. Water, Pepsi, Corona, Fanta, and more. The server even asked my kids if she should get a shot of tequila for me. They knew better.
Once we were checked in, the bellman took our bags and escorted us across the resort to our room. It faced the ocean. From the second floor balcony, I could hear the waves hitting the beach.
You guys! It gets better. On this little balcony was a two person hot tub, just for our use. I gotta say, we got our money’s worth out of that thing. There were bath salts and bubble bath to go with it. Someone was using it the entire time we were back in the room.
The night we zip lined, I put my swimsuit back on after dinner and went out to the porch to relax. I closed the door, letting the kids know I needed a few minutes alone. They gave me a couple hours.
I sat in the hot water, jets streaming, surrounded by bubbles and cried my eyes out. I texted my mom, my sister and a couple friends to tell them about the craziness of the day. I talked to God. I even talked to Vance, even though I know that’s not how it works.
My tears started sad. I missed him so much that day. Knowing how proud he would be of me was bittersweet. I mourned the loss that is widowhood that night.
But I also cried proud. I’d done it, you know? I’d done the hard thing. Conquered a fear. The kids had seen that their mom was braver than any of us thought I could be. So I sat there and let happy tears fall into the water, too.
Isn’t that what life is? A mixture of pain and pleasure, sadness and joy?
The final tears that night were simply tears of gratitude. I know, I know. That sounds so cliche. It is. But it’s also the truth. As I’d flown across the sky that afternoon I couldn’t help but think about how awesome the God who made it all is. About how blessed I am to get to live this life. It might end tomorrow or maybe I’m not even half way done yet. I have no idea. But I know this: I am thankful for what has come before and I am thankful for what is right now and I am thankful for the chance to get to see what comes next.
That premium upgrade, the one that came with the hot tub, it was totally worth it. Not just for the ten percent off in the gift shops and the free room service, although we totally took advantage of those! It gave me a solitary place in a room for five. It brought me peace.
My unsolicited advice: You only live once. Take the upgrade. You won’t regret it.