Big Johnny was all about family.
When they scheduled a family reunion cruise he was beyond excited because everyone would be together.
He knew this would be the trip of a lifetime.
As the days toward sailing were drawing near, he noticed that there was dissension as to what everyone wanted to do – opinions were flying back and forth all over social media.
There was no way that everyone would be pleased with the direction and activities planned for the family.
One family member, Richard, was especially vocal about his preferences and what he thought the group should do. His friend, ‘Spud’, a longtime family staple, also along for the ride, was particularly vocal about the groups’ decisions.
Some people just went along with the two because they wanted to avoid conflict.
Others simply stayed silent, although their dissatisfaction was clearly evident.
The rest applauded both Richard and Spud on their decisions and followed along willingly for this was going to be the cruise of their life – they needed a change and they needed somebody to take charge. Besides, Richard and Spud were family.
When Richard and Spud led them to a Ropes Course where they risked their lives by zip lining off the side of the boat, they went. Some people were afraid of heights; still, they went.
When Richard and Spud led them to the Karaoke bar and engaged them in a rowdy rendition of Elvis’ Dixieland, they sang. Some people didn’t like to sing and found the song offensive; still, they sang.
When Richard and Spud dissuaded them from not getting off at one of the ports because ‘those people were not safe’, they stayed on the boat. Some people liked that port; still, they stayed on the boat.
Big Johnny, although being all about family, expressed his dissatisfaction every step of the way – he couldn’t help himself. This was his vacation as well and now it had been ruined.
He had such big plans for this trip and they simply didn’t materialize. The thought that everyone could cruise and find their own groove was now lost to the reality of how the gathering had actually materialized.
Instead, later, as he was looking through pictures of the vacation for a photo book he was making, he came across one specific pic of Richard and Spud lounging on the cruiser, taking in the expanse of sea and sky that surrounded them, oblivious to what anyone else had wanted to do.
Immediately Big Johnny knew this was the image that would define the entire experience for him.
Before he could stop himself, he captioned the photograph with the words that best summed up what he felt: