Frances had come to the Caribbean alone, still reeling from the sudden death of her best friend, Maya, who was supposed to share this island adventure with her. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that someone as young, vibrant, and full of life as Maya would die in her forties.
Maya would have loved this place, the beauty of the clear blue water, the green of the trees, and the white sand. They had planned every year to travel together, but life, work, and families had kept interrupting any plans. And when they finally could get away together, death reared its ugly head.
Frances had wanted to cancel the trip, but her mother advised her to go, saying that this trip might just be what she needed to start the healing process. Frances doubted that, but she didn’t want to argue with her mother. It was easier just to come.
Yet, as she waded in the waters, kicking the surf and enjoying the feel of the spray on her face, she giggled for the first time since Maya passed. She looked up into the sky, and the stars looked like orbiting halos, reminding her of a piece of Maya’s offbeat jewelry. She felt such peace and comfort from the beauty that surrounded her.
She knew that her friend would have wanted her to be here, celebrating the life that was still hers. Maya’s days had ended, but Frances still had much laughter, love, and living to do. Maya would have been the first to say, “Live life while you still have time, Frannie, because you never know the day or the hour when your days are over.”
As she headed back to her room, she decided not to just sit in her room, as she had been doing, passing time until she was scheduled to go home. Instead, she wouldn’t miss the music and the life-affirming vitality of the Caribbean night life. She would dress, go dancing, even if she had to dance alone, and lift a toast to her dear friend. She imagined Maya would approve.