As of tonight, we have spent a number of 48 nights on the ocean, sailing. We have seen many other ocean-driven sunsets, of course, but none are ever as good as the ones you see on the ocean from a ship. There is just something about the sun setting on the ocean that is like nothing else you can imagine. I love it.
We have sailed 7 times, including this time. I know how many nights, because all but one of those cruises has been with Carnival, and we have spent 41 nights on Carnival ships as of tonight. From the very first night – September 25, 2005 – until tonight, I have truly enjoyed them all. When asked today if he really enjoys cruising, Sweetie said he did, with me, because it’s fun and because when we are cruising I smile all the time. This, of course, led me to think about when I am not cruising, which led me to think about what it is about the rest of my life that makes me not smile so much.
I hate getting into this battle with my memories. It brings back haunting days and nights spent worried and scared. It brings back things that I don’t like to ever think about, and it makes me truly wonder what my life would have been like if none of those awful things would have happened. I know I can’t change the past, but there are certainly days that I wish I could get selective amnesia and erase some of those awful memories. It would, I believe, make me a happier person.
But, for tonight, seeing that sunset, as it always does, gives me hope for the future. Hope for a brighter tomorrow, away from the things that cause me grief and unhappiness. I always loved the story of Pandora’s box. When the lid was lifted, all of the bad things flew out of the box, leaving only hope at the bottom. Thank you, Ms. Bone (Eldridge) for introducing me to Pandora, as that bit of hope has carried me through so many dark hours, just as the sunsets on the ocean do now.