I stood in line at the Oranjestad airport yesterday for 2 hrs. It was the warmest day since I first arrived to join the Anderson’s vacation, and much of the waiting was outside. Historically, lines make me antsy– and hot lines make me whiney. For reasons I can only attribute to Grace– fierce grace, I didnt mind at all. I feasted on the opportunity to people watch. Sunburns, hangovers, tourism, foreign (to me) accents, duty free shopping sprees, fingerlicking Cinnabon eaters, americans, long legs, short shorts, high waisted elastic stretched beyond capacity, readers, earphones, starers, seasoned travellers, laughing babies, lots of yawning….yet everywhere I looked, no one else was alone.
Often times, you see solitary travelers, but apparently not in vacationland…
As a young mama, I always had a fantasy of travelling alone; it wasnt because I didnt enjoy Isaacs company, in fact, for 18 years he was my company of choice; I preferred him to everyone actually. I think the fantasy was likely fueled by reading about travelers and perhaps fancying myself an adventurista. Ive been “planning” a pilgrimmage since reading “The Camino” in 2000. With high school graduation and Isaacs bright future ahead, I felt “my time” would come soon– and I wasnt in a hurry, but enjoyed the dream–of “someday”…
Anyway, here I was, 6 weeks after my son has passed from this world, travelling alone. I was struck, for the first time since I had been invited, with a feeling of deep shame (for always wanting this chance to travel alone). I sat with it long enough to listen and then let it go– (Ive spent some time with shame in my lifetime). Once the shame left, I was able to smile into my heart center truly. I have been so grateful for the generosity that got me there– and for my family’s encouragement to go– and so hard on myself trying to make sense of Isaac’s choice and our loss, that I hadnt really taken it all in until this moment, alone, in the airport, surrounded by so many beating hearts, so many stories.

—I found the courage to travel alone to a foreign country despite unbearable grief. No bells and whistles– and not a lingering pride– simply a feeling, for the first time, after 6 weeks of living on autopilot, that I was possibly going to be ok– atleast sometimes. Maybe even alot, someday.
“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”—Mary Oliver


Published by: christinaryanstoltz

I write to touch the supple center of unguarded ache~ To release myself from the pressure of not knowing how to move forward from the unfathomable loss of my beloved son, my beautiful boy Isaac, to suicide, of not knowing how to release my grip on of the past, both the worshipping of it as well as the beating myself up for it, and letting go of the need to know what I could’ve done or what on earth I will do now. I write to heal.

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