A Different Kind of Journey to Costa Rica

View from our window in Costa Rica.

I started writing this blog in order  to make a connection between the people and the destination. I truly love to travel.  However, sometimes, my writing goes in different directions.  God will often take you along different paths for something higher.  This past week I struggled with how I would celebrate life which is so beautiful while promoting something that is  not.  How would I celebrate someone who is a hero as well as so many people everyday and everywhere?  All of the sudden a picture dropped in my lap.  A symbol of life and all that is good along with the struggles we endure.  It is a way of honoring someone who is a hero and will always be one in my heart-my husband.

Vandara Adventures, Costa Rica

This picture above is of my daughter Alex and my husband.  A little over two years ago this time of the year, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. September is prostate cancer awareness month. You never know how you will handle something like that until it happens to you or someone you love. We had a trip planned for Costa Rica and my husband had asked his surgeon if he should go.  The doctor had explained that he should go and come back the following week to have surgery.  I remember the doctor talking about how beautiful Costa Rica was and how he would sit at night and look at the volcanoes off in the distance while drinking a beer.  He told my husband to go-it would be good for him.

Costa Rica beaches

It was then that we set out on a journey that made sense to us yet no sense at all.   I remember the day that they strapped on their helmets and flew through the jungle.  It was the one time that I imagine my husband felt free except when he prayed.  That week I didn’t think that I could concentrate on all that Costa Rica has to offer, but I did.  I actually managed to have fun.  The Costa Ricans have an immense faith in a country that is overwhelmingly beautiful.  That week we sat in the hot springs, went on horse rides to the base of a volcano, and met some of the kindest people that I have ever had the chance to meet.  I remember not being able to go on the zip line and yet one of the employees took me up the mountain.  During the incline I was admiring all of the fruit trees and was a little sad that a wonky joint wouldn’t allow me to join them that day.  All of the sudden, one of the employees pulled over, got out of his truck and picked the most perfect yellow piece of fruit.  He smiled as he peeled it and offered it to me as a gesture.  He didn’t have to do that.  He just did.

Mountains of Costa Rica
Vandara Hot springs, Costa Rica
RUI Resort, Guanacaste, CR

Today, on a very cold early fall day in Pennsylvania I write this while sitting with my laptop and a hot cup of coffee, (pumpkin of course).  The house is quiet, and the only trace of noise is Howard snoring under my feet.  Right now, life is wonderful and we are surely blessed. My husband is currently cancer free. Wow- life was very different then.  I write this as I am extremely proud of my husband.  Life is about how you handle some of the hardest things. It can break you or you can rise up.  Its your choice.  My husband remains a hero in that he tries to be a sense of strength for those going through it. That’s right, 1 in 7 men will get diagnosed with prostate cancer.  My husband was only 48 at the time.  I advise that if your knowledge is limited, get information from the experts.  I advise that you do not google things.

Costa Rica at the RUI Resort
Night falls in Costa Rica
A token of respect and kindness from someone in Costa Rico
Vandara Hot Springs, Costa Rica

The last night I sat up on the beach as the sun set and I took pictures of the two of them. This is my husband and daughter.  An only child sees her dad as her best friend and hero as it should be.  He is one along with everyone out there who walks this journey. Some people who walk through fire and scale buildings are called heroes.  I say that the real heroes are those who battle cancer everyday and everywhere.  Please get the resources that you need and talk to your doctor. I pray that this journey made a difference in someone’s life by creating awareness.

My husband and my daughter on the beach in Costa Rica
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Add Your Comment
    • Sharon
    • September 12, 2017

    Beautiful, Natalie!

    So happy that Bob is doing so well!

    Love you both! And Alex, too!

  1. You have always been a faithful friend and I thank you for standing by us during that time. I love all of you as well and I am proud to
    call you my friend.

    • Christa Scaife
    • September 12, 2017

    Loved this, Natalie.
    God Bless you and your family.

  2. Thank you Christa and thank you for being a sense of comfort during that time.
    It was comforting to know that people who knew us even way back when were praying for Bob.

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