An enthusiast’s view of America’s Original Seaside Resort… by Meghan Kunz
Traditions are typically pleasant. My husband and I went to Boston last year for our anniversary and we had a fantastic time. We were so (obviously) pleased when my in-laws gave us an anniversary gift of a trip to Cape May this year. Andy had never experienced Cape May in autumn, and I assured him that it’s really a beautiful time of year to visit. Unfortunately, this tradition that we started has also brought heartbreak for us, a second year in a row.
Last year, while in Boston, our beloved Chihuahua Betty passed away a day after our anniversary. It was very difficult for us because, although she was older, it was sudden and we were not scheduled to leave for three more days.
This year, as I was preparing for our weekend Cape May retreat, one of our rabbits, Lucy, appeared sick. We adopted Linus and Lucy (originally Basil and Snowbelle) from Randolph Animal Shelter in February of 2005. We were married for only four months, lived in a condo where no dogs were allowed, and being animal lovers, we really wanted a pet. Linus and Lucy were Dwarf Hotots, white with black spots, and very small. In the beginning, we would tote them around with us on vacation and holidays. Then we moved to our house, adopted dogs, and Linus and Lucy had their own bedroom (having a four-bedroom house, it seemed like a logical move). Everything was fine, until just two days before our trip, when little Lucy became listless and refused to eat.
I took her to the vet (not all vets care for rabbits — you need to find one that specializes in “exotics”) and found out that she had a condition called ileus, or an obstruction in her intestinal tract. Her body temperature was lower than it should be, and she was very weak. The doctor suggested a heating pad and a special food mixture. Three hours later, Lucy was gone. I was driving her to the animal hospital as her condition seemed to worsen. I was devastated. But somehow, I had to pull it together — we had a trip planned.
I know everyone copes with loss differently, and it may strike some people as odd that we could just pack our bags and try to unwind. Honestly, I had no desire to go (and that’s saying a lot, because I love Cape May). Again, like with our dog Betty, this was sudden, unexpected, and occurring during a celebratory time. But it actually felt healing to get in the car, preoccupy ourselves with a book on tape, and drive down the parkway.
As always, Cape May had the healing power we needed.