Saying Goodbye

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Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you don’t know when goodbye is coming.

I’ve mentioned Brett’s grandparents many times in travel posts and quarterly goals. His grandma and grandpa moved to Florida 20ish years ago. Brett and I made a point to go down and visit them at least once a year and they became another set of grandparents for me to love.

Grandma Emma passed away on November 30th, 2017. She was a fierce woman who stood strong for everything she believed in. I loved her stories about all the places they traveled, her brutal honesty, and her love for her family. We’d sit on the couch in the Florida room for hours and just chat about anything and everything.

Emma made the best homemade chocolate frosting, french toast, and roast. Each visit she’d welcome us with a homemade cake and a hot dinner. We shared a love for travel, books, music, and the Bailey family. The first time I met her she dragged me to her closet and had me try of dozens of Mardi Gras beads. I really cherish the time we had together.

Grandpa Ed passed away on July 15th, 2019. This loss hit me really hard. He was a WWII veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and an amazing story teller. He was stubborn, strong, and had a great sense of humor. He looked so much like Brett. Ed passed away suddenly and at 97 years old it was still unexpected.

Ed is the reason why Brett loves airshows and aviation as much as he does. He’s also the reason why Brett has so much respect for our military and our country. He taught Brett to love history and introduced him to many of his favorite movies. Ed was a hero and I feel honored to have known him. My last words to him were “see you soon” and I know I’ll see him again one day.

We will be traveling down to Florida soon to celebrate Ed’s life with our family. He will be missed but Brett and I will make sure to pass on his legacy to our future children and grandchildren. The sacrifices he made for us will not be forgotten.

This week has been hard (and it’s only Tuesday!) but I feel good knowing that Emma and Ed have been reunited. I aspire to have 70+ years of marriage and to travel the world like they did.

See you later, Ed and Emma!

“After all, to the well organized mind, death is but the next greatest adventure.” – J.K Rowling

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Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

Wildflowers

wildflowers

About 6 weeks ago I danced to my favorite Tom Petty song (Wildflowers) with my dad at my wedding. It was not the “typical” father-daughter dance but it meant something to both of us.

I remember being 17 and creating the playlist for my very first trip to Europe. I went through my parent’s music collection and found a few Tom Petty CDs. I of course knew of Tom Petty since both of my parents loved him. However, what struck me first was the resemblance of young Tom Petty to the pictures I had seen of my dad when he was young. They looked so similar!

From that moment on, I became a huge Tom Petty fan. Whoever rode in my car was stuck listening to CD after CD of his music. Songs like “American Girl”, “Wildflowers”, and “Learning To Fly” take me right back to sitting in the driver’s seat of my little red 1999 Mercury Mystique.

Brett broke the news of Tom Petty’s death to me on Monday. I was sitting at my desk at work and I was shocked. It was already a terrible day with the news of the Las Vegas shooting. His music gave me hope and comfort when I needed it the most and suddenly he was gone too.

When we found out he was still living (barely) I felt sad and hopeless. I knew he would never be the same. When word broke that he actually passed I felt numb. It was a bit better because it came as less of a shock this time.

When I see all of the pictures people are posting in tribute to Tom I can’t help but think of my dad. He doesn’t look anything like Tom Petty these days but I can’t help but see the similarities.

I hope Tom is somewhere among the wildflowers.