Nearly 17 years ago we celebrated our honeymoon at COR and fell in love with Couples. We promised to return “home” every 5 year anniversary to recharge ourselves and our relationship while basking in paradise. We made the first trip, but the 10 year anniversary coincided with both the birth of our son and the beginning of my wife’s battle with cancer. Having been pregnant when diagnosed with breast cancer, the surgery, chemo and radiation destroyed any chances of our return for quite a while, if ever. While she survived the breast cancer, the radiation treatment caused another cancer to form on her chest wall, requiring more surgeries. And a few years later, they found a brain tumor, which thankfully was grade two and close to dormant.
After reconstruction surgery, we returned to CTI in August, 2010 full of joy, relief and love. We renewed our vows and celebrated 15 years of love and making it to 40 years of age. We truly cherish every moment we spent together during that week. It was deeply spiritual and represented not only our return to CTI and our original plan, but also a return to normal. Not a day goes by that we don’t make a reference to that trip. During that trip we also went to Sans Souci, and having fallen in love with that resort as well, altered our plan so that every 5 years we go to CTI and once in between we go to a different Couples Resort. Couples isn't just a hotel for us, its become a passion. Everyday life doesn't allow for the quality of time which we spend together when at Couples. Being there takes us back to the way we felt about each other when we first fell in love. Its truly intoxicating to us.
Now the hard part. Earlier this year my wife underwent brain surgery to remove the no longer dormant tumor. While the surgery was a success and she emerged unharmed, the tumor had advanced into a glioblastoma. Ted Kennedy and Gary Carter most famously had this type of tumor and life beyond 2 years is rare. We had to put off any vacations in order to deal with more treatments, scans, radiation and doctors. You can’t plan anything because you might be in surgery or have bad side effects or symptoms. The one place she wanted to go before the disease progressed is Sans Souci. So we’ve finally been able to pinpoint some time, between chemo rounds and scans, to travel.
So this Wednesday we return to Couples to stay at Sans Souci. It’s not a triumphant return as our 2010 visit to CTI was. This trip is meant to relax, recoup and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. As excited as we are to go, it’s bittersweet as this is very likely the last trip to Couples for both of us. We will enjoy every minute of it. But if you see a couple crying on the bus to the airport, you'll know its us.
My advice is to live each day as if its your last. If you are still reading this and you are on the fence about going on vacation, you’re crazy. Just do it, remember every moment, and don’t let one another forget.