Saturday 16th May
We walked out to one of the beaches today, where a food and drink festival was happening. It was warm and sunny, flags fluttering in the breeze, people milling around or sitting on the sand. We bought a cold drink and were joined by my sister and our niece.
We began talking about you, as we always do, saying what you would have done, or what you might have eaten (something called The Pig Dog would have appealed to you, I’m sure).
Then somehow, the conversation turned to Sea World, and how you would go off on your own, queue for the rides, strap yourself in, and have fun for hours, meeting up in say, two hours, at a designated spot, for food and drink. You loved Manta, Kraken, Antarctica and Journey to Atlantis.
On one of our earliest trips to Sea World though, you became lost. We could not find you. We searched everywhere for what seemed like hours. I would go one way round the park, my husband another, and when we met up, neither had seen you. We were becoming worried. And then my husband’s cell phone rings. It is the Customer Services desk, and they have a lost child with them, (well, a young man really), and would we like to collect him? Our son could retain and recall many different phone numbers, and certainly knew his Dad’s. (One of his traits of Aspergers included a wonderful memory for trivia, lists and numbers). When we found him, he was sitting in air conditioned comfort, drinking a soda, chatting away. No worries. He knew exactly what to do, by presenting himself as a ‘lost child’, and waiting for the parents to arrive!
A few more rides, some food, then he was ready to leave. He’d had a fun day: we were absolutely tired out!
Another year we came to Sea World, when you were much older, and you asked to attend an evening dinner show, a Hawaiian Luau. You thought it would be grown up and posh. Upon entering we were given colourful garlands, a small glass of rum punch, and then found a table at the front of the stage. You loved the fire spectacle, the lovely Hawaiian dancers and the acrobatic gymnasts.
It was lovely, sitting in the sunshine this afternoon, talking about you, remembering happy times, but my goodness, it does though, makes us so sad.
We talk to you later on in the early evening, as the sun is going down behind the trees in the cemetery. The jets are leaving their vapour trails overhead, and that is a reminder to us: by now, most of our summer holiday would have been booked, and you would be pestering us for the ‘itinerary’, and helping to organise various trips and outings as we made our way down to Orlando from South Carolina.
I don’t know what we will do. You have been traveling with us for thirty years. Everything was planned around you and your brother initially, then he moved on, and we continued to look after you, taking you everywhere with us. It will never, ever be the same again.
I hope you are traveling and soaring high with the angels up there, continuing your journeys.
Fly high, fly free xxxxxx