I got up and flipped my calendar cube over to 7 February yesterday and WHAMMO! Flashback to the past….to probably the saddest moment I have ever experienced. Four years ago yesterday Jim Dorton took his last breath, and sighed his way over to the other side. Grief is a weird concept. My mind still wrestles with the mixed emotions I remember from that time. On the one hand I was happy that he would no longer suffer, because by the time the Lord took him he was tired of the suffering. At the same time I was horrified that the twenty plus years we spent together were over. He was gone.
The fact is I am still completely mixed up emotionally and I don’t think I operate at 100% of my past potential. I was very sad for a long time, but I am resilient and managed to bounce back to a certain extent. I am learning to work within my new limitations and I take a new approach to the concept of happiness. The only way I could see forward was to move from Hawaii, where Jim and I met and spent most of our lives together. I felt I needed to go back to my roots. Ok, not all the way back to Lagrange Street in Toledo, Ohio, no, that would be too far back. I went back to some roots I established in early adulthood traveling through Mexico and then living/working in Akumal, on the Caribbean coast. Although I no longer teach scuba diving and couldn’t afford the Mexican Riviera, I was drawn back to the Yucatán in a desperate attempt to crawl out of my grief stupor. And in retrospect, I feel happy and content living in the heart of Mérida.
For me, Mexico is a constant reminder that I am alive. The sights, the sounds, and the smells activate my appetite for living. I feel like my feet are on the ground when I am here, although I know I live in a bit of a dream world. It is and old, sturdy and settled world. I am intrigued by the Mayan history that is present all around. And although Jim wouldn’t have chosen Merida as a place to live, what drew us together when we met was our mutual love for Mexico. I remember much laughter and rum shared at the Pioneer Inn, Lahaina, Maui, over conversations about our separate adventure tales south of the border. I think he would have liked it here.