If you think this post is just an excuse to preserve some adorable photos of Zoya, you are probably right.  Apparently, early morning sun can really make completely unedited photos look amazing.  I am so glad I wrote that last post about learning to live again while still at home in very normal life, because it wouldn’t mean as much that I was starting to learn to live again if I wrote it while sitting on the beach.  Vacations are the spice of life, but you can’t eat a plate full of cinnamon.  What makes this vacation so perfect is that I’m excited to go back to my life at home too.  I’m not filled with that dread of the end of vacation, because I’m returning to a more balanced life that I have had in ages.  I’m returning to continued time with Zoya, rest, and hard energizing work (hint – an announcement is coming soon).


We come down to Redington Shores about once a year thanks to the best of friends.  I never came with Shah.  I was here once before he moved to the U.S. and then we started coming annually, shortly after he died.  I remember having glimmers of hope that life would someday be good again, on that first visit, but it was not a present reality.  I don’t actually remember much about that trip, but my sister was here taking care of me and Zoya and I’m pretty sure I completely wore her out keeping us alive and comfortable.  That first trip I really regretted never bringing Shah down here, because he would have loved the ease of this place.  But now I’m glad this place is free of so many emotional triggers.  It’s a vacation for the emotions as well as normal life.  I don’t avoid emotional triggers on a regular basis and I don’t avoid normal life, but a vacation from both can be fantastic.

Someone recently asked me if I ever feel Shah’s presence.  The answer is yes, and now I have another story to give as an example.  Last night as I was walking with Zoya on the beach, right after the sun had set, I felt like Shah came up and put his arm around me.  I said nothing.  About a minute later, I started holding Zoya’s hand and as we walked she said, “It feels like Daddy is holding my hand.”  So yes.  I cannot conjure up that feeling or I would do so all the time, but yes, sometimes his presence is very, very real.

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