“She’s like the daughter I’ve always wanted.”

Those were the words that my father spoke last week when speaking about Sunshine.

Yeah…I know. How amazing is she??

My sister has never been the loving daughter that dad always hoped that she’d become. When mom was sick, my sister might have called dad twice and spoke to mom once.  She’s lived in the same town with my parents for years now (after being away for years) and I saw them more often than she did.

So when Sunshine jumped on a bus last Monday afternoon just to be able to support me, little did dad know just how amazing she would be with him, as well.

When we sat around the living room, Sunshine sat next to dad and chatted with him. She didn’t spend every waking second talking about herself, rather she sat there and helped dad smile.  When I was reading my mom’s eulogy at her funeral, Sunshine was the one who moved to sit next to dad and hold his hand and hug him when he broke down.

I also heard him tell a friend on the phone that he feels closer to Sunshine than he does with his own daughter.  She’s just THAT KINDA SPECIAL.

And here’s the kicker…

Dad wants to get out of town for awhile…away from the hurt and the pain and the memories.  My 16-year-old brother has his March break in two weeks so dad decided to book a last-minute trip down south.  He decided to make it a cruise because he and mom loved to take cruises together.

Well…I love my brother and all, but both dad and I realize that he’s not the greatest conversationalist in the world.  Dad also knew that there would be quite a few times where he’d probably be alone and he’d be devastatingly lonely.  SOOOOOO….

…he asked Sunshine and I to join him on the cruise.

Yeah…I know. How amazing is that? We both scrambled over the weekend to make sure our ex’s were okay with this turn of events.  Then we had to clear this with our employers.  Once that was done, Sunshine had to gather the documentation required so she could apply for a passport.

SHE’S NEVER BEEN ON A PLANE BEFORE.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to not only go down south on a cruise (it’s a 7-day cruise that I’ll discuss in much more detail over the next few weeks), but to know that I’ll be the one by her side as she gets to experience parts of the world outside of Canada for the first time makes me extremely happy.

So yeah…to say that she has my father’s “stamp of approval” would be an understatement.  And after last week, I don’t think I could love her any more than I do.

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15 thoughts on ““She’s like the daughter I’ve always wanted.”

    1. I can’t tell you just how grateful I am…not just because my dad is doing this for us, but because I’ll be able to share Sunshine’s experience with her. I just can’t wait to see her eyes marvel each and every day.

  1. Awesome! I’m sure you are sick and tired of hearing me offer my help (LOL), but I have been in the cruise business since 1993. If you have any questions, lemme know! (And if you all are leaving from New Orleans, it will be a MUST for me to come down and see you off!)

    Bon Voyage!

    1. Well…we’re flying into Miami and heading out from there on the Carnival Glory (I’ll post more details about the trip next week). I’ve only been on a cruise once when I was 18 (i.e. I was too young to appreciate it) and this will be Sunshine’s first time, so I’m sure ANYTHING that we do on the cruise will be amazing.

      But any tips you can provide that would enhance the on-board experience would be greatly appreciated.

  2. awwww!!!! That is so awesome. This gave me chills. I am so excited for you both! And wow, had no idea Sunshine had never been on a plane. What a great experience for you both and for you as a family. So so fun!

  3. Never been on a plane! Awwww … You guys rock. I’m so glad you all are going to be together, are the kids going??

    CaNook, this is life moving on … it happens when we least expect it.

    Much love.

  4. You guys are going to have a BLAST! I have been going on a cruise each November (Thanksgiving week) for the past 15 years with my extended family, typically 12 – 30 of us, depending on who can make it. Carnival is a great line to go on, they don’t call them the fun ships for nothing! Here are my tips as an experienced cruiser:

    1: lay out all the clothes you want to bring, and then put half back. Seriously. You will over pack. But, then again, it is better safe than sorry. Even though you are in the Caribbean, it can get cold at night, so make sure you bring a jacket or sweatshirt.

    2: write down the amount of money you plan on bringing, and then double it. Well, this one is kind of a joke, but not really. People get “sticker shock” at the end of the cruise since everything is cashless on board, be careful. But have fun!

    3: Sunshine, wear your slinkiest tight clothes in the beginning of the cruise, and your looser clothes towards the end. Not so much from the endless endless 24 hour food, but also because you are surrounded by sea / salt air, and also from the preservatives they put in the food. Drink lots of water with lemon. But don’t panic, within a couple days of being home you will be back to normal.

    Gosh, I hope I’m not scaring you 🙂 you guys are going to have so so much fun and what a great get away for your dad too. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

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