It was a last-minute cruise to the Holy Land, among other stops in the Mediterranean.

My husband and I typically took one grand trip a year. Travel is our thing. But in 2010, we were stumped.

Then an overlarge picture-postcard came in the mail. It proclaimed the maiden voyage of 3,000 passenger ship by Celebrity Cruises, a line we’d never heard of before. How did Celebrity know about us? It seemed like a miracle, so we signed up.

We’d just been given bad, sad news: my share of the inheritance, which my mother and father wanted to be shared equally, was cut by 1/3. My mother and father had also desired that I, the oldest, be the executor of the estate. The Boss sibling thought otherwise and finagled the lawyer to make the change… because I lived 2000 miles from the family nest, in southern California.

My assertion that the money would fund the high cost of health care at a later age fell on deniers’ ears. Sigh.

It seemed a signal from Our Father in heaven – to override the transgression wrought upon me after my earthly father’s passing. Even an expensive lawyer couldn’t save our fair share the estate, set to a higher purpose. Sibling rivalries are never mended in court, as they never were in real time. The Boss wanted to be the boss, the first born in my stead.

So, my husband and I sallied forth, to be among the 3000 passengers, knowing not a soul on board. We befriended a few on shore exursions, but seldom ever saw them again, aboard the floating city.

Except for nightly dining beside the most loquacious and narcissistic man ever. He was a shrink who spoke incessantly – and every sentence began with ‘I’. His noble wife remained a silent and fawning partner, while Larry and I went numb due to verbal barrage which seemed to assert that he was the sole interesting thing on earth.

Weren’t shrinks supposed to be listeners of the highest quality, murmuring the occasional, “I see?”

The final day of the cruise was a Sunday, so my husband and I went to the non-denominational service in a small room aboard the ship. The sole other worship attendee was Dr. Good Whale.

He handed me this refrigerator magnet and adamantly said, “Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that you are not good enough!”