Wave on Wave

 

During the cold, dreary winter months, I keep depression away by planning every detail of my family’s summer adventures. From our annual family reunion/ beach week, romantic weekend getaways, writer’s retreats, daytrips to amusement parks and motorcycle runs for good causes, I can be found inside, researching the next best fun thing to do, while the snow is falling outside.

serious icycles

 

I convince myself every winter to hang on for just a few more weeks and my sanity will return and those empty idea files in my mind will soon be overflowing with creative ideas as I lounge along the shoreline soaking up the warm, soft breeze.

Beach Chairs

Then I snap out of it and realize that nearly every summer plan I have made for the last eight years imploded.  There was the summer I was recovering from a brain injury and couldn’t remember how to tie my shoes. Then there was the late spring where my daughter had to have an emergency c-section and was in the hospital for weeks. We did not want to leave her. Another summer my stepson was in a horrific motorcycle accident and in a coma for twenty-one days. That same summer our grandson had a pole from tennis net go clear through his leg in a freak camp accident. So embarrassing was the time I tried to shut the garage door at our beach rental and the door sucked up and crushed eight of my fingers causing my grandsons to call me Mom-Mom scissor –hands for the rest of the summer. Two years ago right before our vacation my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with a cancer so ugly there isn’t even a ribbon for it. The outlook for both was grim.

After months of treatment, my father’s cancer went into remission. My friend went through months of chemo and radiation and then a life altering radical surgery and she was declared cancer free.

John and I swore we witnessed a miracle. We wanted to celebrate life. That January we leased a beautiful, private beachfront home that was large enough for our kids and grandkids. Beach week could not arrive fast enough. At every family occasion that winter we talked about the fun, we were going to have that summer.  My daughter’s and I planned the menus. We shopped for extra special beach toys for the kids and matching towels.

On June 10th that year, I was told my father’s scan showed a ‘mass’ in his throat. My mother’s scan showed a suspicious density in her remaining breast. It looked liked that summer would include a few trips to Florida to be with them.

The next day I got the news that my sweet friend’s scan showed multiple lesions. I would be spending some time in North Carolina that summer as well.

On June 14, John called me at work to tell me our realtor called and told him the perfect house we leased back in January was suddenly unavailable to us because the owner had a family emergency. The proverbial shoestring broke and I could not grab the pieces.

My personal rule to never, ever commit woman -on -woman crime no.matter.what. was about to be broken big time on that realtor because we found out it was her negligence that lost us our rental.  The owners of the property never had a family emergency.

Not to worry she said, we found you another house, it is only three towns away, does not have direct beach access and it is not private. Private being one of the key words here. With eight kids in the house the last thing we wanted to do was to be telling them to be quiet all week because of the neighbors.

It was also not on the sand that my husband spent every summer on from the time he was one-year-old. The sand where he and I stood on our first date and watched fireworks, appear out of nowhere. It was not the beach where we shared our first kiss and then thirteen-months later got married during a family beach week. It was not the same sand that held the precious ashes that John lovingly scattered so his first-born son would forever be a part of his family’s beach week.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

That realtor just did not get that.

This past winter within three- weeks of one another I lost my father and my friend. There were no plans made for the beach this summer. I was too sad.

I am not going to plan the day but the first one that comes along and finds the two of us with the day off, no rain in the forecast and a clear calendar, I will look at John and say lets go. I will hop onto the back of his Harley and in no time at all we will be sitting on ‘our’ beach.

Daytona Biker Girl

Life can be chaotic, down right terrifying at times. It can feel like the world is crashing around us and sometimes even on top of us. I can always count on ‘our’ waves, to remind me that whether life comes at us as a raging storm or in soft poetic rhythm, it will be constant.

I will take the time to breathe softly and cleanse my soul of the everyday life stressors like traffic, lost sippy cups, endless deadlines and whining. My eyes will follow a seagull as he soars along that invisible line where the fluffy white clouds meet the sea. I will hold my husbands hand, close my eyes and be grateful for him, our family and our many blessings.

Beach kiss

I will open my eyes just in time to see a crab scurry by and I will shriek. John will laugh so hard that tears will roll down his cheek and I will give in and laugh with him. Our eyes will meet and for that moment we will have stolen back, our joy and we will smile. We will have a little fun in the sun and then ride into the sunset and back to our reality where we will excitedly be making plans for our next adventure.

Wave on Wave by Pat Green (our wedding song)

http://youtu.be/fJWnIFlYKjs

 

 

21 Responses to “Wave on Wave”

  • Hi Doreen – life does happen like that .. but til it happens of course we just traipse on by .. gosh your realtor does deserve to be hung, drawn and quartered …

    Lovely you have that week on a beach in Florida and 5 of 13 grands to cheer you all up – they’ll be amazing to be around and share that week with ..

    John sounds just lovely and such a ‘gorgeous, thoughtful’ husband .. enjoy – cheers Hilary

    • She does deserve it Hilary. I am usually much more forgiving but she doesn’t even understand how painful this was and still is for us.
      John is amazing! Thank you.

  • Your struggles break my heart, but your perspective brings back the smile. Sometimes all we can do is hang on by our fingernails and hope the next day will be better.

  • I’m so sorry for all your losses. This reminds us that we only have the present and that’s why it is called a gift.

  • Oh, Doreen, I’m so sorry for your losses and challenges, but am glad that you and your husband are obviously each other’s shores — a safe place to land after riding out the waves. Wishing you a real day at the beach. You deserve some sunshine.

  • OMG, if anyone DESERVES a day at the beach, it’s you! Good luck with everything, though I’m certain your positive attitude and ability to be flexible will see you through! 🙂

  • Doreen, I can so relate to this. And I am so sorry for your losses. We are also in the midst of a series of waves…we alternate between being mad, then sad, then just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. Actually, not so much laughing…but trying to find the light. Writing helps though, doesn’t it?

  • Moment matter, seconds are precious…. This really got me Doreen: “I can always count on ‘our’ waves, to remind me that whether life comes at us as a raging storm or in soft poetic rhythm, it will be constant.” Beautiful!

    I wish I would have known you when you were recovering from your brain injury because I would have bought you slip-ons and told you that even though life was going to be different, you would find your way back to OK!

    Beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much Ruth. I wish I knew you then too!
      My husband has been telling me “You are back” quite often lately. There was a time I wondered I might never find my way back.

  • I’ve always found the ocean to be a source of tremendous comfort. It shares with me its grander, grace and wisdom of infinity. Blessings to you, my friend that it does the very same for you.

  • Helene Cohen Bludman:

    Why is it that so many bad things can happen one after another, with barely enough time to catch your breath to face the next one? I pray that you and John will soon have that week at the beach that you so deserve.

  • Your post is such a soulful reminder to appreciate the day for its blessings and save our strength for the hard times that always come. Thank you. Blessings to you.

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