This feels so incongruant frankly. To be faced with making ends meet and havng to give up retirement while at the same time given the opportunity to take a cruise! My mom and brother want to pay for us to take a trip. Brother is great with manster and will give husband and I lots of time alone. So we will have this brief interlude with the lifestyles of the rich and famous before coming back to hard reality and wondering if we'll keep the house. We're flying into Newark on Oct 27th and sail out of the Bayonne port on the 28th. It will be a Halloween cruise. I want to feel good about this and I do, but I also feel guilty. Luckily my mom gets a lot of perks because she cruises almost every year and plays in the casino and mostly wins (I mean big jackpots) and they comp most of her trip many times. But part of me wants to ask her "can't I just have the money" but I know she wants us to take this trip. She was originally going to go with us, but step father's health took a turn for the worse (he has interstitial lung disease) and is getting less and less mobile. The docs just told him he has about a year. How can there be so much sadness at the same time there is this celebration of life. It doesn't seem right to be taking a vacation somehow. OK, I'm going all dime store philosophy on you all again. Maybe I just need to be thankful for the good stuff and realize it's never going to be a continnum of either good or bad and it's up to me what to focus on. ML -- who is thankful there even is a cup (and realizes she's crazy).