I referred to this experience in another thread. Someone suggested this was worthy of its own post...so here it is.
In Feb 2016, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive for of breast cancer (called Triple Negative meaning that its not responsive to hormone therapy.) Fortunately, it was caught during a mammogram-she was asymptomatic. Her prognosis was excellent, but her journey to cure was long. Invasive surgery, 20 weeks of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. She did a magnificent job. Just so proud of her. Dignity poise and grace in which she handled each thing. In October, she was declared cancer free. 5 years monitoring ahead of us.
Throughout the treatment courses, we tried to recognize milestones in various ways. A weekend getaway. A small family celebration etc. For the end of chemo, we planned a BIG one. a week in Aruba-her favorite place to travel. Normally, we stay at the Surf Club as we own a week there. This time, I wanted to do something special. Two days are the Renaissance. (We love Ren island) and Five nights at the Ritz Carlton. We visit there for food or drinks often, but never stayed there.
I booked five nights AAA for $247.00-king room limited view. Prior to arrival the concierge contacted us about our visit. I explained why we were coming to Aruba. A few days before arrival, we were informed they upgraded us to a one bedroom executive suite. Corner room. Ocean front. This room was absolutely outstanding. On arrival, we paid the fee to add Club access. Positively worth it. Practically covered every meal. We did have some awesome sushi in the lobby bar.
The reason for the post (finally ) was a call we got from Sabine on our second day. She was the clerk that sent us flowers, wine, checked us in. Did everything she could to make this visit special. She asked us to meet at the towel hut by the pool 5pm. Nothing else.
We arrived 5pm. She showed a few minutes later with a bunch of helium balloons. Sabine had taken each balloon and added a tag with an emotion that Vicky would have battled during the year. Anger, pain, frustration, etc. 10 or so in total. Vicky released the balloons one at a time. Releasing those feelings too that had consumed our lives for most of the year. It was a an extremely moving thing Sabine had done. Tears were flowing. Therapeutic. Just wonderful.
After the event, I wrote an email to the CEO of RC. CC'd the GM at RC Aruba. BOTH of them responded stating Sabine would get special recognition for these efforts. Very much deserved. I cannot thank her enough for what she did.
This Thanksgiving was the most special for me ever. I have so much to be thankful for after 22 years of marriage to Vicky. It really was a reality check. Long marriages can get caught up in routine and familiarity. This year put perspective on that. I kicked that to the curb. Also, I am Vicky's second husband. Her first died at 29 from skin cancer back in 1991. Very tough year for my step kids facing their second parent fighting this. But she BEAT IT!.
Some pics below of the balloon launch. Thanks for reading!