|The Coca Cola Corp. provided a memory-packed weekend that my family and I will long remember!|
It's not everyday that you get a once in a lifetime opportunity like I enjoyed several weeks ago. I was with my daughter, Sarah, when she got the call from her sister-in-law, offering her an all expenses paid trip for four to Los Angeles for the last weekend in June. This sweepstakes prize was sponsored by Coca Cola and included airfare and accommodations at a luxury hotel. Originally, this was going to be a surprise for my 15 year old grandson, Justin, and his best friend, Joey. That same day, Sarah was thinking out loud and asked my son-in-law, Bob, if they would still go if Joey couldn't go for some reason. I timidly raised my hand to indicate that I would like to be that fourth recipient if Joey didn't get permission to join them. Sarah was shocked that I would want to go, knowing full well what a country girl homebody I am! Also, the weekend revolved around attendance at the BET (Black Entertainment TV) Awards and it never occurred to her that I would have any interest. Since I almost never watch television, I didn't even know what the BET was. I just knew it sounded like it would be a great get-away!
Sadly (for Joey), although his parents gave permission for him to go, the prize people said he would have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to go along. So Nana was going to L.A. with the family! At first, I wasn't planning on going to the BET Awards, thinking that it wouldn't be something I would enjoy. But that changed when I went to lunch with my Bible study girlfriends and they all encouraged me to go just for the experience. I was very excited about this trip, as I hadn't flown in a jet in forty years and I had never been any farther west than Ohio! I went having no expectations; just a desire to spend the weekend with my family, going somewhere none of us had ever been and doing something I most likely will never have the opportunity to do again.
I assumed that we would need to get very dressed up to attend the Awards, and was planning on wearing my mother of the bride dress, or another long dressy outfit I had in my closet. I thought I was set. Bob kept asking the prize counselors about appropriate attire, but it wasn't until the last minute that we learned that the expected attire was not formal, but rather something called cocktail chic. I had to look it up online because I had no idea what that meant. So I spent the day before our trip in a frantic search for something to wear. Thankfully, Sarah and the boys had something in their wardrobes that would work. I was blessed to find my little black dress at the eleventh hour!
I loved every minute of our little adventure! We had such a good time; the most fun I have had since my sweetheart was called home over two years ago. The flight to L.A. was emotion-filled for me though, as I couldn't help but think of Buck, when I saw the mountains, especially when the pilot pointed out the Grand Canyon. This was hard for me because it was a powerful reminder of the trip we had looked forward to for so long. As soon as we got settled into our new home, we were going to make a month long cross-country driving journey exploring the west. I wasn't able to hide my tears. Having fun always makes me think of my man, because Buck was such a fun-loving person and he made sure that we carved out time to make memories during our camping trips and summer and autumn getaways. He brought so much fun and joy into my life and I am so thankful for all the wonderful memories that I now cherish! I don't miss him any less, but much healing has taken place and I'm coping with my new reality a lot better. I so appreciate my family's willingness to share their prize package with me, giving us the opportunity to build new and wonderful memories!