January 27, 2016

We were dragged from our deep slumber slowly by the sound of our cell phone ringing up in JOD’s salon. At first the ringtone just worked its way into my dream, then slowly I woke up and realized what was happening. A glance at my watch showed the time to be almost 3 am. Good phone calls do not arrive in the middle of the night.

The phone showed that the incoming call was from Cindy’s mother, but it was our daughter Stephanie on the other end of the line when I answered. The news was as bad as it could get; Cindy’s father Jim had suffered a massive heart attack and had passed away half an hour earlier. I asked Steph to repeat what she said to make sure I had heard her right, but I had not misunderstood…Jim was gone.

6 hours later we were on a Delta flight headed to Huntsville. Given that this had to happen, it was best that it happened while we were still in Nassau. A combination of weather, year-end close out on our business and a comfortable marina had kept us in Nassau, so we were able to quickly book flights, button up the boat, make arrangements with the marina to keep an eye on JOD while we were gone and head to the airport.

Now we’re at Cindy’s mom’s house, staying in the bedroom where our grandkids sleep when she keeps them overnight. We wake up in the morning to walls decorated with dinosaur and butterfly stickers. A memorial was held for Jim after his remains were cremated. We are now helping Cindy’s mom settle the estate and then will be working with her and our daughter to get her moved into our house and deciding what to do with her house.

While we love the cruising lifestyle, family comes first. Once things are finished out here, we’ll fly back to the Bahamas and continue our trip.