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The Place


We finally decided on a few pairs of shorts, some sandals, and a couple of bathing suits. If we needed any
more than that, we were going to the wrong place on vacation!
“We can certainly get things there if we need them,” Beverly responded. I agreed, and at that point I was
ready to get on a beach and relax.
We planned our vacation to be flexible. We made a list before we left of all the things that interested us.
Each morning we would decide what we would do on that particular day. The resort we were going to had
everything you could imagine, and making reservations was as easy as calling the front desk.
The flight from Missoula went through Salt Lake City, and we arrived at Cabo in no time. We made our way
through customs and on to the sun-filled Mexican outdoors. We grabbed a bus to our hotel but stopped on the
way for the usual tequila stop. It seems all buses make that stop because it gives the liquor trade some business.
The resort was right out of a picture book. The bougainvillea were beautiful with all their various colors of
reds and purples. The buildings were all built with white stucco, and the small walkways were lined with
flowers and small shrubs. It was all simply beautiful. After we checked in, we walked along several small
outdoor corridors past the beautiful trees and colorful bushes that led to our room.
I quickly placed our bags on the bed and opened the curtains to take in the view. I slid open the glass doors and
walked outside. I was standing on a sandy beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean, and it took my breath away.
Beverly joined me, and we spent the longest time staring at the scene that lay before us. We hugged one another
because we were both so very grateful to have this time together.
The next morning we decided to drive up the coast to a marine park, where we would spend the day
snorkeling. It was a beautiful ride, and the scenery was very different from Montana. When we arrived at the
park, I placed my valuables, including my driver’s license, keys to the rental car, money, wallet, and passports,
in a plastic bag and then stuffed it into the pocket of my bathing suit. The water was glorious, and the coral reef
and colorful fish were everywhere.
We swam for about an hour, then returned to the beach. I reached into my pocket for the bag with our money
so we could get something to eat for lunch. The bag was gone! I was not in a panic, but I knew the loss of that
bag would create a major hassle if I couldn’t find it. We looked everywhere. I spent half an hour back in the
water looking for it, but to no avail. I turned to Beverly and smiled.
“There’s nothing we can do about it now,” I said, thinking to myself that no keys meant we couldn’t drive
the sixty miles back to the resort. No money meant major hassles, and our passports would make getting back
into the States difficult at best. I kept smiling.
After retracing our swim several more times, we presumed that the bag was hopelessly lost. I went back to
the shack where we rented our snorkeling equipment and told the attendant what had happened. “If you lost it
out there, you can consider it gone,” he began. “That current is very swift, and things like that disappear out to
sea very quickly.” My hopes for finding it were now completely dashed.
“If you want to watch my place, I will try to find it for you. I know how these currents run.”
“I can’t thank you enough,” I replied, and moved behind the counter. I waited half an hour, and when he
returned, he was empty-handed. My heart sank.
“I did the best I could, Señor, but it was nowhere to be found.”
I thanked him for his efforts and went back to join my wife. I told her what happened, and we decided the
best thing to do was simply enjoy the rest of the day.
We went back into the water and never stopped looking for the bag. I was swimming in the shallows for half
an hour or so looking for shells on the golden sandy bottom, when I suddenly felt the presence of my mother,
who had passed on the year before. It was such a strong feeling; I knew she was right there with me. I could feel
her love like I did when I was a child, so I spoke to her.
“Mom, I know this is just another challenge, and we will get through it like we always do. But if you could
help me out, I would appreciate it. This is our first vacation, and I wanted it to be special for Beverly. I love
you, Mom, and I miss you very much. Thanks!”
About twenty minutes went by when I suddenly felt a tapping on my shoulder. I stood up out of the water to
find Beverly standing next to me in the water. There was a man in a wetsuit standing behind her.
“Jerry,” she began, “this is Paulo.”
I walked past Beverly to where he was standing and reached out my hand. “Very nice to meet you, Paulo,” I
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