Sunday 2nd of October
We’ve experienced all kinds of things in Florida, the vast majority good of course, but you don’t visit a place as much as we do and avoid encountering upsets, arguments and downright upsetting stuff over all those years.
Today, however, is something I have no idea how to write about. Only my type A, OCD need for completing stuff sees me sitting at the keyboard and having to get through it. So here we go….
I was still waking up at 6am despite the holiday being almost over. Thanks, body clock. We watched another episode of Dahmer via Netflix and I think Louise nodded back off for a bit. Emily was with Mary back home and we were calling and messaging constantly with the latest updates etc.
At around 8.55am Florida time, Emily sent us two words. “She’s gone”.
She immediately called us, and Rebecca joined the call from her home too. We had all been preparing ourselves for this moment for at least eight or nine months since Mary had a stroke in December 2021 and had to come and live with us. There had been many times in those months that we thought she was leaving us, only to bounce back like the fighter she was, but all that preparation did not make it any easier now.
There were lots of tears, of course, accompanied by a numb feeling of disbelief. After a while, we all hung up and we began the process of informing those who needed to know and arranging things such as a funeral director. Thankfully, technology and much-improved roaming contracts made this much easier than it may have been a few years ago.
We also spoke to the nursing home and went through what would happen between now and when we would get home. As much as Louise feels incredibly guilty about being away when her Mum passed, any attempt to fly home earlier than scheduled, once we suspected we may not get back in time, would have seen us either in the air or in an airport at this moment, unable to make arrangements or speak with the girls as easily as we could now, so if there can be any good thing about a moment like this, we should cling to that.
Amongst all this, I had nipped down to Fuel in the Dolphin’s lobby, their take-out food option and got some breakfast and coffee, mainly as I didn’t know what else to do.
Once all the calls we could make were done, we had no idea what to do with ourselves so we just went back to the pool again around 11.30. Louise cried pretty much all day and I felt like a fairly useless spare part, lying there in the sun, feeling like we shouldn’t but not wanting to sit in the room.
More calls were received and made during the afternoon and I handled as many of those as I could to prevent Louise from having to.
At around 5pm we went back to the room and had showers and got dressed. At some point during the day, I had looked for somewhere to eat this evening and just chose the closest thing I could find, The Yachtsman’s Steakhouse at the Yacht Club. We were booked in for 7.30.
We walked over there, the gorgeous surroundings feeling all the weirder at a time like this.
We arrived with a little time to spare so we went into the Crew’s Cup bar for a drink. Louise had red wine and I had a chocolate martini again.
On a day that probably called for it, we had a second round, this time I swapped to a beer.
We checked in next door at the restaurant at 7.25 and we were seated after a five-minute wait. It was odd to experience the world carrying on as normal, with the Cast Members doing their jobs and greeting us happily. We were served by Marty and during the meal, we chatted with the couple at the next table who were from Minnesota. They were frequent visitors too and it’s always nice to talk to other folks bitten by the bug and pick their brains about all the stuff you haven’t done yet.
We started with another lovely bread service.
I ordered the New York Strip.
Louise, the Filet Mignon.
We had creamed spinach and mushrooms as our sides.
We were too full for pudding, which was the second saddest thing to happen today.
We strolled back to the hotel slowly, soaking up the environment.
With some perfect timing, the Epcot fireworks started right at that moment and I took far too many photos of very poor quality.
You know I love this place and I lingered longer than was probably needed just to soak it in a little more. I always think about the horrid winter waiting for us back home and how I have to charge my batteries with the life force from this area just to get me through it.
We were back in the room and quickly asleep after a day we will never forget, full of all sorts of emotions. The next day would see us fly home.
Till the next time…..