Tomorrow my daughter Rachael-Grace and I leave on our 6 month Nothin' But Love tour. It will be quite an experience for both of us, filled with every emotion of the alphabet as we honor and remember my husband/her dad, meet people along the way and hear their stories, offer workshops to women around the country and, well, who knows what else.
Someone used the word vacation to describe what we're doing. As in, my daughter and I are going on a 6 month vacation. There have been other people (not many, thank goodness) who, upon my arrival here in Phoenix, asked me if I'd enjoyed my travels from the East coast.
All of them know my husband died recently. Did I enjoy my travels from the East coast? Maybe not so much, what with the urn with his cremains riding shotgun with me, his folded flag draped with his ID tags hanging on it. Maybe not so much as I drove the roads he and I drove for 4 years together, the grief ripping through me with every mile. Struggling to breathe through it.
Going on vacation? Seriously? This entire Odyssey is about fulfilling Chuck's last request to me. He mentioned 3 places to visit and knew I'd know the rest of them. That final request of his is the primary purpose of my life now. Its the driving force behind what my daughter and I are doing. Possibly (do you think?) it will be emotional.
Along the way, we'll also deepen our mom and daughter relationship. Rachael is a hoop dancer and yoga instructor and we'll do that each morning to help work out thebeinginthecar kinks and to move the grief energy around. I'm sure we'll smile and laugh along with the tears. That's how grief is, isn't it?
But vacation? No, I don't think so. Every moment of this next 6 months is going to be intense in every way. Light and darkness and shadows and love and more love.
Today she and I went out to the desert with her husband and my son to take pictures and shoot some video. My grief spilled out and my heart poured blood in the process. Which is okay, in the midst of not being okay because nothing really is okay and I'm kind of okay with that.
Tomorrow is the day we commence this Odyssey of Love. Grief. Love. Magic. And the open road.