(Sea)Lions & Gators & Dolphins….Oh, My! A Halloween PTR/TR with a “wild” theme - Oct/Nov '18

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Thank you for all your kind words. We are home safely and finding comfort with family.

News of his passing was completely unexpected, and has been made even more difficult in learning that his death was by suicide.

Friends, please make a point of checking on those you love....even those that look strong on the outside. Sometimes those people are the ones who need you the most.
 

bobbie68

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Gina thank you for sharing that personal story of what happened to your father in law. I know that isn't easy to talk about so soon after. Death of a loved one is never easy but it is so much harder when you don't understand why. I think that you could't have said it better and I agree with you 100 percent that sometimes people look okay but aren't. I am glad you made it home safely and are with your family. I hope you find peace with wonderful memories to help these hard days. Will keep thoughts of you and your family.:goodvibes
 

Pumpkin1172

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Gina...I'm so sorry for the loss of your ( Steve's ) dad. Like @bobbie68 said, when we don't understand the " why " it makes it extremely difficult. Our hearts understand when there is illness or accidents...but when it's so unexpected and tragic...it breaks your heart even more. Like many of us here, you and all of your families will be in our prayers. :grouphug:
 
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Sending you love, hugs and strength

    I understand what you have gone through
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    I am so, so sorry to hear that! You and Steve (and family) are in my thoughts
     
  • Penguinempress

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 11, 2015
    Gina, I'm so sorry about your father-in-law. My condolences and much love to you, Steve, Jake and the rest of the family.
     

    Sherrynny

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 8, 2000
    Gina, my heart goes out to you and your family. I hope you can encourage Steve to seek professional help. It is so hard to understand the WHY? What could I have done to prevent this? The guilt and anger may build up until he explodes over something very trivial. Strong men like Steve, want to see themselves as invincible, but unfortunately they are not. He must remember that suicide is a selfish act, and the deceased has no idea of the heartbreak they leave behind. Prayers
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    Hello everyone. Thank you SO incredibly much for your kind messages of support and compassion. We returned home to Michigan late on Wednesday night, after the funeral in the morning and the graveside burial early that afternoon. Thursday was a day of catching up (SO MUCH LAUNDRY :crazy2:, vacuuming up all the cat fur :cat:, sorting through the mail, and purchasing some much-needed groceries) and I went back to work on Friday. Steve doesn't head back until Monday, but I was desperate for a day to think about something else and I think he benefited for a day alone with his thoughts. We had a lot of "peopling" while we were home (there was a constant stream of visitors dropping by his mom's house to offer their condolences and drop off food, and both the visitation and funeral were attended by literally hundreds of friends and family) and I hope this doesn't sound bad, but I was socially and emotionally ready to get back to some semblance of normal.

    We really didn't have much of an opportunity for quiet grieving while we were in Canada....there was so much "business" to take care of. Final arrangements, picking out a burial plot, planning the service, tracking down the will, contacting friends and relatives with the awful news. The painful process of dealing with our own grief has really just begun. I lost my own dad more than 8 years ago now, so I know intimately how devastating it is to lose a parent....but this has been a whole different beast. With my dad, we watched him suffer physically for many, many months (his body was ravaged by metastatic cancer) so his passing felt almost merciful. With Steve's father, there's no relief in knowing his suffering has ended.....instead, we grapple with the reality that he was suffering inside and none of us knew to help. There's sadness and guilt and anger and regret all swirling in one big mass of emotion.

    Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can ever prepare a family for this kind of tragedy. It was unexpected and came without any warning. It still almost doesn't feel real.

    At any rate, it is good to be home......and I'm eagerly counting down to our spring trip (7 weeks to go). I feel like we both NEED a vacation after this gut-wrenching, emotionally draining, painfully sad week. Of course, I also feel more than a little guilty about being excited about a Florida escape under the current circumstances :guilty: .... so there's those conflicted emotions again.

    However.....with the weeks rushing by as spring races up on us, now the push is on for me to get the lead out and finish this trip report. I am going to try and pick up from where I last left off and get an entry posted sometime later today or tomorrow :thumbsup2. For those of you who have continued to hang in there, know how much I have appreciated your patience.

    Remembering John:

     
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  • tgropp

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2007
    Gina.....my heart is aching also. Steve is blessed to have someone as strong as you to lean on...which he will need to do. Remember to take care of yourself also as grief can wreak havoc on you body. Gods blessings to your family
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    So, I had a whole entry done and ready to post, but apparently it took so long for me to type it out that my login timed out.....and when it promoted me to log back in to continue, it also wiped out everything I had typed :headache:.

    I tried. Honest :(.

    I'll see about giving it another go tomorrow after work.
     

    Monykalyn

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2014
    I hope this doesn't sound bad, but I was socially and emotionally ready to get back to some semblance of normal.
    Completely understandable. I often get "peopled out" under the best of circumstances, so this is must be double hard. On one hand grateful for the support, love and OTOH just done with everything and need a quiet space to breathe...

    I feel like we both NEED a vacation after this gut-wrenching, emotionally draining, painfully sad week. Of course, I also feel more than a little guilty about being excited about a Florida escape under the current circumstances :guilty: .... so there's those conflicted emotions again.
    Also very understandable. It is OK to want an escape.
    I tried. Honest :(.

    I'll see about giving it another go tomorrow after work.
    :hug:
     

    bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi Gina still here and not going away:goodvibes. I totally agree with pp's about not feeling guilty or conflicted on your emotions. You need that to help get through the tough times. The pic is really nice glad that you have those types of memories.

    My mom had a slow painful time with breast cancer. I remember feeling after it was a relief for her and all of us. You and Steve will have to heal differently from this one.

    I enjoyed the pic great way to remember him.

    Look forward to hearing more on your report when you get around to it. Life gets in the way:goodvibes
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    So, I had a whole entry done and ready to post, but apparently it took so long for me to type it out that my login timed out.....and when it promoted me to log back in to continue, it also wiped out everything I had typed :headache:.

    I tried. Honest :(.

    I'll see about giving it another go tomorrow after work.
    *hugs* please take your time! No rush :)
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    Thursday, November 1st: SeaWorld, continued

    I believe we last left off at our visit with the penguins:



    We hadn't bothered to take advantage of the continental breakfast offerings on the dining plan when we arrived at the park....we just weren't very hungry at that point....but after wrapping up in Antarctica, we were starting to feel the need for some food. We opted to check out the Expedition Cafe which is located right across from Empire of the Penguin.

    The Expedition Cafe has three different food stations (Asian, American, and Salad...though the salad, which was formerly an Italian station, has now returned to offering Italian foods since our fall visit), each featuring a different themed assortment of entrees, sides and desserts. Both Steve and I opted for selections from the Asian station: I didn't want fried chicken to be the first thing on my stomach that morning :crazy2:, and salad?? That would be a big heck no :laughing:.



    With our trays in tow, we got our wristbands from the cashier (we had pre-paid for the all-day dining in advance of our trip for the crazy low pass member rate of $24.99 each, so all we needed to do was show our printed purchase confirmation to get our bands) and then proceeded to the adjacent Penguin Hall to find a table.



    We literally had the entire place to ourselves. Hmmmmm....where to sit? :magnify:



    Because it was so empty and quiet, we had the chance to really take in all the fun little details that showcase the theme of this dining location. A "radio station" was played over the speakers, and the station is broadcast from (you guessed it) Antarctica. Large signs and advertisements on the walls all featured activities, tips and information about living a good life in the frigid Antarctic, and winter-worthy provisions (snowshoes, snowmobiles, and more) completed the decor.



    We munched away on our meal in blissful peacefulness.....moments like these at theme parks are pretty darn rare.. Our food was good but not great: everything was tasty but pretty much every component could have been warmer. My orange chicken was quite a bit spicier than I had expected, making me grateful that beverages were bottomless. I drained my bottle of water before I had finished my plate :drinking1.

    And actually, neither one of us managed to make it through those ample portions. We ate what we wanted and ending up tossing the rest.....which makes me feel a tad guilty, but its either a benefit or pitfall (depending on how strongly you feel about waste) of the dining plan. One has to pace themselves ::yes::.

    Once we had wrapped up our early lunch, we headed to Journey to Atlantis.......Steve was kind enough to indulge me in my penguin admiration (and suffer through the cold temps while inside the exhibit), so the least I could do was reciprocate by making one of his favorite Seaworld rides our next stop.



    With the park this empty, the ride was (not surprisingly) a walk on. He was through the queue and splashing down almost before I found a good viewing spot along the stone fence.







    I met him at the photo kiosk after the ride, and we had his picture put on our Photokey. Yep, he definitely knows exactly where the photo is taken :rolleyes:.



    Since he was already wet, and there was no wait for the ride, as we walked through the gift shop I suggested he take advantage of the absence of crowds and ride again......and he needed no convincing.

    This time, while he rode, I poked around the Jewels of the Sea Aquarium that's inside the Atlantis gift shop. It's one of my favorite things to do while Steve enjoys the ride.....and the exhibits never fail to impress me. It's so calming to sit and watch the jellyfish and other sea life in the beautiful underwater displays.





    Steve knew just where to find me when his second ride concluded. We popped back out to the photo kiosk to have his second picture added to our Photokey, and then continued our tour of the park.



    More SeaWorld to come!
     

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