This is where our family gathered each summer. We had ribs on July 4th and shot off fireworks on the beach. We watched our babies grow and swim and build sandcastles. The First Son caught his first fish with his Papa. This is where we took sailing trips on my aunt and uncle’s boats. Later, this is where we piled up in my brother’s boat for trips to Cumberland Island where we fished, sunned and searched for shells.
This is also the place I have not been since July 2012. This was when the unthinkable happened and we lost my ever fun loving, life of the party, brother and best friend to me, rock solid son to my mom, Uncle Mike to my boys, and husband and father to my sister in law and nephew. It was unfathomable that such a horrible, tragic thing could happen at a place that was filled with so many happy times and memories. I wrote about that trip here.
So, for a long while I have said that I could not go back there. I’ve tried to look for a “new family beach” for us. We have just missed going to a familiar place for vacation. Then I slowly began to realize that I couldn’t recreate another place with so many happy memories and times. Maybe it wouldn’t be sad to go back to an area that had been so important for so many years. Of course, we could never go back to stay at the same place where the horrific event happened, but we could comemorate all the fun and happy times – before there were so many losses, and begin to make new memories that would build on the old ones.
So, this is the plan and I’m on board and think it’s a good one. I’m a little nervous, but we all know it’s time to gather and honor Mike and say goodbye. Our new normal is our smaller family unit consisting of my family of five, and my, just like a sister, sister-in-law, and her son, my nephew. We are still knitted together by blood and by memories and experiences. We will be missing three important members, my Daddy, my brother and my mother. But we will gather on my brother’s boat and take to the waters he loved so much in a place that meant so much to us for so many years, and we will let the waters have his ashes, part of him, as he would have wanted. The sun will rise and set and he will be so happy and joyful and I’m sure he will be giving everyone a toast at the 5 o’clock hour.
I am looking forward to some quiet times, enjoying the beach, (there’s nothing like a walk or run on the beach to begin the day), reading and being with my family. I may visit this site or I may unplug, I’m just not sure. In any event, have a great week!
I hope you enjoy your July 4th!