Best laid plans

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The sun set in Cancun as Addison played on the beach.

A few years ago my husband Stu and I bought a timeshare in St. John, Virgin Islands, for the second week in December. So for years that has been our winter getaway. This year we switched our reservation to Cancun to make it easier for my daughter Elizabeth, living in Dallas, and Stu’s son Harvey, living in Houston, to get there. The direct flights from those cities to Cancun are a short hop and we were delighted to spend our week with them. But it was not to be.

I guess Jonah misbehaved!

They were there, Elizabeth with her two darlings, Jonah and Addison, and her husband Sam, and Harvey with his lady friend, but the morning we were to leave Stu developed a fever that landed him in the emergency room of what I have come to call my “home away from home,” St. Francis Hospital.

The talented doctors immediately got him on antibiotics to fight off the 103 degree temperature, but with no clear source of the infection he was admitted to the ICU unit and here we sit instead of the sunny, soft sand beaches of Cancun.

But not being there did not stop me from recalling our last stay there. When I go to sleep I shut my eyes and picture myself having a massage in a “kiosk” set up on the beach surrounded by flowing white gauze sheets. I can almost hear the sound of the rolling sea gently hitting the sand and the smell of the fresh ocean air.

As a realist I decided to do a “staycation” and duplicate the wonderful feelings I would have experienced. So off to Pouran Med Spa in the North Shore Towers I went. As I put on my robe and experienced the quiet, soothing environment, I knew they would restore my energies. Pouran’s professional facialist, Ann Marie, and masseuse, Ferri, went to work on me. And was it wonderful! I felt every bone in my body relax.

It was my Chanukah gift to myself. Sometimes we have to be our own best friend and take charge. It was my breakaway from keeping Stu company at the hospital.

But I did take time for a “pity party.” I highly recommend it. For those who haven’t had one let me explain. A pity party is something I learned about from one of my friends, and I pass its power to you, my readers: I take 15 minutes and cry and scream “why me, why did this happen to me?” then I put myself together, fix my makeup and carry on.

There’s something rejuvenating about the experience as you can keep the disappointment and the fear in perspective.

Something else helped too. It was hearing the song from the “Lion King,” “The Circle of Life.” What wisdom those words hold.

On another positive note I’m thrilled that our newspapers, in cooperation with the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Russo’s on the Bay, will be hosting a holiday party for the children who suffered through Sandy. Many of them are still displaced and if we can bring a smile to their face it will warm my heart too.

So please be generous and bring new, unwrapped toys to our offices in Queens, at 38-15 Bell Boulevard in Bayside, and in Brooklyn, at 87-23 3rd Avenue. We will share the children’s joyousness through photos and videos on our website. Stay tuned!