I almost left off the anecdotes from the very last sea day and night of our cruise, but decided that the story wouldn't be complete without them both.
On Saturday morning we woke to the boat steaming from the Turks and Caicos Archipelago towards Fort Lauderdale. We had heard about cold icy snowy weather and were not excited. We could feel the movement of the ship and the waters were definitely rougher than they had been.
At this point we still had not made it to the top decks early enough in the morning to take a picture of the sunrise at sea, and Mr. Bryant was determined to catch at least one such, so we woke up early and before coffee we headed to the top of the boat.
We got to deck 9 and decided to go to the front of the ship to see what we could see and catch a glimpse of the day beginning. We walked down the hall of cabin doors and came to the port door to head out to the deck. To go out this door you stepped over a small landing and onto the nice semi-private deck. Mr. Bryant was in front of me, holding his camera in his right hand. He later told me that he could hear the door shaking, but I didn't realize that. He grabbed the door handle with his left hand and slowly opened it. It was about two inches open when a gust of wind about 58 km/hour (we looked this up in ships weather information later) blew the door open with a jerk. Mr. Bryant was pulled across the landing right in front of me, thrown out onto the deck with force, and rolled several times across the floor.
I was shocked. We could feel the ship rolling and I was holding on to the door frame. I was staring at him, staring at the deck, looking at the railing that would absolutely have kept him from falling (my inside voice still wondering), feeling my heart beating, standing in my bare feet. The wind was blowing so hard we couldn't hear each other very well. Mr. Bryant was laying on the deck, not moving. He was looking at me, but not getting up. My mind was absolutely blank. I didn't know what to do. I yelled, "Are you all right?!?!?!?! Do you need help???!!!!?!?!" He said, "Yes, yes, I'm all right. I don't need any help, I'm ok." and started to slowly stand up. I was shaking now. I reached out and grabbed the door handle with both hands, and slowly pulled the door against the never ending buffeting wind until I had it closed.
Now I was on the inside. Tears were coming down my face, and Mr. Bryant was on the outside of the door, standing up holding on now, looking at me through the little tiny window, kind of laughing. He said, "Now what are we going to do???"
He said he didn't need any help, right?
* * * *
Mr. Bryant's feet were scrapped up from the pull across the threshold and his arms, shoulders, and back were sore. But he was still with us, still here on the boat, still smiling at me. I was pretty shook up for the rest of the day after that, reminded again of how life can change in an instant. God had my attention completely. I have clarity that it is God's own grace that makes our life live-able day after day, and His own grace that brings us peace, and His grace that I found this wonderful man and am blessed to have a life with him.
* * * *
We recovered, got on the same side of the door, and after hugging a bit, went to the back of the ship (on deck 11 this time) and got some great sunrise photos.
We went and had breakfast and then I had to have a nap.
Why? Because I could. :) That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Mr. Bryant attended the debarkation briefing, so he had all the news, and I relaxed and continued to recover. It was rough water most of the day, and sailing into cold, but we made the most of our time, resting, reading and having tropical drinks. And then, as evening approached, we got ready for Toga Night! We practiced wrapping our togas around in about ten different ways, and finally came up with one that we decided worked.
As we walked out of our cabin to head to dinner we met some other guests, not in togas. We said - aren't you dressing for dinner? They said - we are not doing THAT! (LOL!)
Dinner was a blast, the end of evening entertainment was a blast, the final night of the cruise was a blast, and debarking Sunday morning in cold Fort Lauderdale was a surprisingly sudden re-entry back to everyday life.
Getting home was hard, as the whole house was quiet. I miss my kitty, and I love my husband.