All That Fits

A Weekly Column 

by Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, editor of the Jackson County Advocate newspaper, grew up in the Grandview community. She currently serves as President of Grandview Main Street and works as a development coordinator for the Grandview Education Foundation.  She also serves on the Missouri Press Board of Directors and the Kansas City Press Club Board of Directors. You can reach her at

July 19, 2018

Several months ago, as 2017 came to a close and we were in the beginnings of 2018, my dad approached the family and stated that this year, he’d be turning 65, and he’d like to celebrate in a huge way.

He’s big on birthdays, and has always made a great deal of them, especially his own. He loves parties and the attention that a good birthday celebration brings. But, for his 65th, he decided to take things to a whole new level.

Last week, after a few months of planning (and renewing passports), our family boarded an airplane headed for beaches, sunshine, and all-you-care-to-drink strawberry daiquiris. With swimsuits, sunscreen and sandals in tow, we voyaged to Jamaica, a country none of us had explored before.

Michael and I climbed the Dunn’s River Falls together, an experience he and I will likely always remember, and I’m thinking my legs will still be sore from it for days to come. We swam with dolphins, watched as Michael checked out stingrays, tried jerk chicken, and learned to say “yeah mon” and “no problem” like we belonged there.

My favorite part, though, was watching my dad and my son, my two Michaels, swim and play in the ocean together. You would have thought they were both about five (though one is 12 and the other now 65), the way they laughed and splashed at each other and looked for treasures.

As far as family vacations go, this one certainly tops my list. When I was a kid, we took mostly road trips, and I had to spend all day next to my brother fighting over temperature control. This trip, with my brother, my son and parents with me, we made memories of adventure, culture, togetherness and love that will last for at least my lifetime.

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