We were up so early that it was still dark outside. In typical Florida style, the sky was foggy and heavy with dampness. The drive to the airport in my 12-year-old mind was magical; we were setting off on an adventure and moving to Bermuda.
This was new for me because though I was born there and lived there for several years, I had no memory of the place. My father, sister, and I were leaving my grandparents’ home where we had lived for the last five years during the painful and harrowing divorce between my father and my mentally ill mother who was no longer allowed contact with us. I was looking forward to something new and different, a time to start over and a time for us to feel like a real family.
When we arrived, there were several weeks of getting settled and learning about our new home—the turquoise clear waters, the numerous forts, and extended family that I didn’t even know I had. Once we were in our own home, we began the tradition of visiting my Great Aunt Emily’s home every Sunday for lunch. Wild in her youth, she had mellowed into a doting grandmother who loved to have family over. Her daughter, Suzy, red-haired and feisty, was a fabulous cook, and we looked forward to our Sunday meals with anticipation. My dad worked hard to provide a home for us, but dinners were not something he could coordinate. There were a few nights when I had Doritos and Coke for dinner.
It is for this reason that those Sunday meals became something special to me.
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