How did I wind up signing myself up as a chef for 6 weeks in South Africa?  I can’t cook toast.  I decided to try, how often does one get the opportunity to travel to South Africa and go hunting rather inexpensively? My lack of cooking ability and the timeframe hindered my duties as a chef, but Fred, the ranch owner offered me the trip anyway.

That’s crazy! 20 years later and never a vacation without my kids, I was on my way to South Africa. My life would never be the same again.  As a bereaved parent, I experience a lot of anxiety.  I got online to purchase my ticket to South Africa…to go hunting! I had never killed anything bigger than a flea.  After completing all of the information on the page, I was directed to SUBMIT/CANCEL.  Oh my gosh!     CANCEL.

I would try again tomorrow.

$1895.00, for a ticket to Africa? Are you serious? Name, address, credit card number, oh my gosh, what was I thinking? Reluctantly, I filled out the form and came to the purchase screen’s two options. Cancel or Submit? My heart began to race and my stomach began to churn.  I couldn’t go to South Africa by myself.  What loser travels alone?  I couldn’t go without my kids.  I had responsibilities. CANCEL!

I would sleep on it and try again the next day.

I pulled out the laptop.  I completed the information AGAIN. The rates had crept up.  It was going to be way too expensive to go to South Africa, especially on a teacher’s salary.  Now was the time, just hit SUBMIT! Do it! I began to perspire. I needed to be home if my adult kids needed me.  I couldn’t go and have a good time. My son had died.  CANCEL!

This time I put the laptop away knowing I would never make it to South Africa.  Life sucks!

Two weeks went by and the phone rang,  “Yes, Fred, of course I got my ticket, I can’t wait!”  Half of that was true, half not.  A chance of a lifetime, but I had to get past CANCEL!  I re-entered my information. Now $2500.00!  I was just sick to my stomach.  How could I afford this? I closed my eyes. Click!  I just purchased a ticket to somewhere in Africa!

About cessley

I am a bereaved parent. I write to give hope to other bereaved parents who are fresh in their grief. I want them to know life begins again. It (life) is forever changed, as are you, but one day, you will smile again. You may travel, you will make new friends, your heart will mend, though never heal and it will be a painful ride. It is one step at a time....sometimes, even one breath to the next is all we can seem to live through each day. But each day will be a new beginning, a different beginning, a different you. I have two surviving children: Amy, who is married to Brandon, and they have one daughter, Avery, and one son, Dylan. and Eric who is a doctor and is Clifton's twin brother. Clifton passed away when he was nearly two years old. As any bereaved parent knows, it is tough, REALLY tough trying to live after the death of a child. I lived in Shanghai, China for three years after the death of my son, and then lived in Beijing for two years. I am discovering life again, one step at a time. I returned to Oklahoma in February , 2020 due to the uncertainty of the virus. Little did I know the uncertainty would follow me across the ocean. This is nothing compared to the death of a child. I will survive! View all posts by cessley

4 responses to “Cancel…..Submit.

  • unnorm

    Yea! All by yourself you got it on the interweb!

  • Rebecca McCaslin

    Cathy ~ you are a beautiful person inside and out. I can’t imagine the pain you have felt or the loss that is so real. One thing that I know is real…Heaven is. It is more real than this keyboard I am typing on, and these words I am saying. You will see your precious son again! This I am confident of! The Lord bless you for wanting to help others from a posture of courage and strength! ❤ U!

  • Kathy Martin


    Sometimes it is easier to “Cancel” and not face things but when you get the strength and power from within it is time to submit and stand up even if you feel you are alone. But we are never truly alone. Life and love are all around us. We must smile and walk forward taking in all things around us and thanking God for what we have and not for what we don’t.

  • ruth carlile carter

    No one knows what it is realy to fell the pain of a loss of one of your own children. that when life sucks
    the most but in time we learn to deal not easy but we do. we just keep a painted smile on our face and a prayer in our hearts

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