Friday, February 8, 2008

Alone on Valentine’s Day?

In February 2002, having lost my husband five months earlier on September 11, 2001, I wasn’t relishing my first Valentine’s Day alone.

Single for the first time in 16 years, I decided escape was my best option: After looking around online for vacation packages, I booked a week at Club Med in the Dominican Republic. Not only did this resort have child care services to look after my two kids, but I figured that Valentine’s Day in a foreign country would be a non-event—and a non-event is what would protect me from the painful memories I was sure to encounter if I lingered at home in New Jersey.

I had visions of lounging by the pool while my six-year-old daughter Olivia swung high above the beach strapped into a trapeze as Carter, my two-year-old son, paddled about with other toddlers under the supervision of a fun boy counselor named Marco. Warmth and sunshine seemed like the perfect antidote to Valentine’s Day.

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