I’ll tell you some ways I brought Kade on our family vacation.
We went to Mexico over spring break. It was an incredible family vacation. It was the first one that was just us, that didn’t involve visiting other family.
We’d been really sick with flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia in February. A couple of our friends had recent cancer diagnoses. I was about to embark on a three year grad school program with only one week-long break a year. We made a snap decision to go on a beach vacation in Mexico while we could.
I brought my journal and made sure I stole away to write on the beach, all by myself. It’s so important to make the time to “let it all out.” There is a lot of build-up with big events. Even though a vacation is a good thing, even good things are partly sad things without Kade. He should have been part of our family trip. He never went to another country. He would have dug exploring Mayan ruins. Coral on the beach. Fish in the ocean. He has a friend who lives in Mexico; maybe he would have found a way to visit Fernando.
We scheduled a beach family portrait session. I brought a canvas picture of Kade to include in some of the pictures.
(Although I ran out and need to have more made, and didn’t bring any to Mexico, we leave “Kade stars” in places that we’re particularly thinking of him. They’re wooden stars with “Kade was remembered here” burned onto them.)
We talked about him. I asked Brian if he thought Kade would have liked this, or that. If he would have even come with us, or at 23 years old, might have passed. Brian thought he definitely would have come, which made me happy.
And of course we took the time to write his name in the sand and take pictures–somewhat of a tradition whenever we visit a beach. On mountain hikes, I make his name with sticks and rocks.
It stings when the waves erase his name in the sand.