My husband of 16 years passed away in a tragic boating accident in 2018 while alone on our boat in the British Virgin Islands. He left for the trip on December 19th and intended to return on the 24th for Christmas Eve. He passed away on December 20th, the morning after he arrived. He was the love of my life.
We had known each other for about 30 years and it was always our plan to have a sailboat. I'm lucky we got to realize that dream. In 2000 we took sailing lessons and in 2002 we got married and then finally found our boat; B’Shert. In Hebrew the word means, destiny, meant to be, or soulmate. B'Shert, that’s what we called each other.
Our boat was in a charter program, which gave us the opportunity to switch boats with other people and sail anywhere in the world. We sailed mostly in the Caribbean and made some wonderful friends along the way, people who we considered part of our family.
"I will never love that way again. You only get one love of your life—if you’re lucky."
We sailed the Barrie Reef off the coast of Belize for 2 weeks every year and sailed the Sea of Cortez. But we didn't always stay so close to home. We also sailed in French Polynesia! We stayed one night in an over the water bungalow, sailed to Bora Bora, and visited several other islands. The highlight of that journey was attending a traditional Tahitian wedding held by a Tahitian priestess. It was the trip of the lifetime in every way.
Our five years in the charter program ran out, but we couldn't stop sailing, so we purchased another boat, B’Shert ll. We continued to sail several times a year until finally, my husband was ready to retire.
He was a Cardiologist and loved his job and patients so much, I never believed he would actually fully retire. But then, he set a date: January 2019. We owned a house in the Florida Keys and wanted to make it our permanent address, so we had the house remodeled and the boat repaired (from damage in the 2017 hurricanes). We also added some fun extras that we always wanted to have. Finally, in December, it was finished. After all these years we were finally going to live out the dream we’d been planning for so very long!
We were planning on leaving for a two month sail in February, after he retired—traversing south all the way through the Caribbean and then back north. That week in December, my husband went to the Keys to check out the remodel and then go sailing. It was the only chance he would have to do that before our trip.
"But then, I realized that maybe something like that would get me started on my new adventure. Something on my hand all the time could remind me that I’m on my own adventure now!"
The last time we spoke I was in my car and he was just getting ready to head out to his next point. Our phone connection was terrible and we kept losing the signal. Finally, he FaceTimed me. My phone was mounted on my dashboard and I said, “Why did you FaceTime me? I can’t look at you!”
His response was: “I didn’t call for you to look at me, I called to look at you!” Those were, literally our last words together.
At 4:30 that afternoon I received a call from the British Virgin Islands Search & Rescue and received the news that I still have not been able to process.
December 20, 2020 was the 2 year anniversary.
I still have trouble talking about him in the past tense. There are still some words I can’t say or even write. It’s hard to check off “widow” on a form. Even that word was really hard to write. It’s just recently that I find myself telling a story to my grandkids and find that I’m smiling and not crying.
I still have not cleaned out his things. His office is as he left it, a mess! I still look over to his side of the bed and when I see it’s empty I call to him. Every single day something happens like that. I don’t know if or when it will ever change. I will never love that way again. You only get one love of your life—if you’re lucky.
It was around our anniversary in August that I saw something about The Self Love Pinky Ring and just thought it was really pretty. It kept coming up on my Facebook page and at first, I ignored it.
But then, I realized that maybe something like that would get me started on my new adventure. Something on my hand all the time could remind me that I’m on my own adventure now! I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, start a new hobby or something. Whatever it is, nothing—not even a pandemic—can stop me!
So this is my second ring. I'm wearing my birthstone: Aquamarine. I have always been a true Pisces! Growing up and living in South Florida has made it possible for me to always be around the water. When I read what it said about Aquamarine on the site—"aquamarines are the stone of eternal youth and happiness and promote truth, trustworthiness, and letting go"—I definitely decided that was going to be mine!
I’m 65-years-old and have a lot of life left in me. It will be different. It will be hard. But it will always be an adventure!
You can connect with Tobi on Facebook.