I woke up at 5:30 on Saturday morning and knew I wasn’t going back to sleep. I got up quietly, slipped on a dress and went outside. Considering how late the previous night’s activities went on, I wasn’t expecting to run into anyone else. When I stepped outside, it was cloudy and cool, with a breeze blowing. Barefoot, I quietly made my way to the beach. There, I saw a few staff members cleaning up for the upcoming day, raking the sand and placing towels on the lounge chairs. They seemed to acknowledge my need for solitude and quiet and were considerably less boisterous than those we met when we arrived on Friday.
I wandered out on the pier, spider crabs skittering into cracks ahead of me like little tumbleweeds in the wind. I felt a whisper of Jasmine in that breeze and I stood there a minute to let it touch my skin while I thought of her. Gabrielle had some awkward moments of trying to entertain herself, and, seeing other sisters there about the ages of her and Jasmine, I realized how much she has lost. For all intents and purposes, Jasmine was her life partner until now, in the sense of having someone who shares most of your experiences and provides most of your companionship. Her best friend is gone and watching her struggle to fill that hole is sometimes a heavy weight to bear. Fortunately, most kids there her age were friendly, and she used her first day to make friends with some twins who kept her occupied for the next few days.
As I stood out there with the breeze and the ocean around me, more and more people started to trickle out onto the beach, so I decided to head back up to the pool and restaurant area. I stopped by Mom & Dad’s room, but no one answered my knock (I later discovered that Dad was up, but in the john), so I took my book (“The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown — a great read) and headed to have a bagel and some coffee. I spent another thirty minutes or so alone before heading back to my room to see who was up and whether they wanted to have breakfast.
The rest of the day was spent around the pool and at the bar. I didn’t drink that much rum (but I did enjoy a few pina coladas — yum) as I’m still nursing Nina and didn’t want to have a drunk baby! We soaked up the warmth and the lyrical accents around us and relaxed. Several times during the day my thoughts returned to Jasmine. Every time we experienced something new, I thought about how she would have reacted. This became the way my thoughts flowed for most of the trip.