Treun decided to take me to what used to be my hometown for our honeymoon. He knew I wanted to go see my grandmother and an elderly cousin so he thought this would be a perfect time to go. We could also drive just a bit further and see Endellion! It would be the perfect honeymoon for me. Tons of hours in the car with just Treun and me talking.
To tell the truth, there was a small part of me that was apprehensive about the trip. Vacations with Bubba had always been very stressful for me. I did all the planning, packing, and work for the trip while Bubba just went and enjoyed himself. During the vacation, he would treat me horribly and get mad at me when things didn’t go right. Even when things beyond anyone’s control happened, it was somehow my fault. I learned not to fight him about it and just accepted responsibility, apologized, and tried to fix it. Only there was never any fix. When we got home, I’d be exhausted and spent but I’d have to do all the laundry and unpacking. I was able to avoid any kind of vacation with Bubba for the last few years of our marriage for the most part. I’d rather accept the fight about not going anywhere to the sheer exhaustion that came with an actual vacation.
Now here I was planning to go on my first vacation with Treun. What was it going to be like? It started out good. We planned together and packed together. I think I kept looking at him liked he’d grown a second head because I couldn’t make sense out of him helping me. It was strange. Then we left and started the long drive.
Oh. My. Goodness!
We had so much fun! I took my knitting along and we talked and talked. I’d knit and he’d point out interesting sights as he drove. He discovered that I liked to take pictures of each state’s welcome signs as we crossed borders so he made sure to let me know when we were getting close to borders. The drive up was so relaxing. I had just never experienced something so fun before.
We stayed with an old high school friend of mine and her family while we were in my old hometown. I gave Treun a tour of my old stomping grounds. I showed him where I grew up. I took him to meet my grandmother and cousin. As they are both very elderly and not doing well, I figured this was my time to say good-bye.
Before the divorce, each summer I’d take the kids home and each summer, I’d say good-bye to them as if it was my last time. With their failing health and the rift between me and my family, I really did think this was the last chance I had. After our visit, I sat in the parking lot of the nursing home and sobbed while Treun held me. My once vibrant cousin, a woman who helped raise me, was a shell of her former self. She could only mumble but she smiled and knew who I was. She made her pleasure at my presence known. Saying good-bye to her was so hard to do.
We had an enjoyable visit with my old friend and ended up staying for two nights. I got to see another friend who went to college with me while I was there. I love that I still have a connection to my past. I still have friends I grew up with who I see every once in awhile. I value those old friendships. They stuck with me through the divorce. They believed me. They were appalled at the actions of my family. They are safe for me and they are worth their weight in gold.
We said good-bye and headed out to see Endellion for a few days. I was beyond excited and the trip consisted of me bouncing around in the car like a kid at Christmas. After three years of calling Endellion my best friend, I was finally going to meet her in person. I wish I could put words to the excitement that I felt but there are no words adequate enough to convey that.
Endellion had beaten us to where we were meeting (it was easier to find than her house). As soon as I got out of the car, she came running over, picked me up, and spun me around. Endellion is statuesque and she looks like an Amazonian goddess. She is even more beautiful in person than she was on Skype. After a few pictures to mark the occasion, we piled back into our cars and headed to her house.
We spent a few days hanging out with Endellion and her boys. We did some fun touristy things and we went swimming at the hotel where Treun and I were staying. We just spent those few days basking in each other’s presence. I think Treun enjoyed seeing me so happy. I think Endellion enjoyed seeing me being treated so well. I just enjoyed being with two of my favorite people in the whole world.
And then it happened. I got a call from Serenity.
Bubba had planned his attack well and timed it perfectly.