At the end of the week, Phill has a medical conference in Savannah, GA. We used this opportunity to take a family vacation at the beach on Tybee Island. My mother, aunt, and uncle joined us, allowing us to hope that this could become a vacation for us and not just parenting somewhere else.
It is impossible to remember every interesting moment although it has just been shortly over 24 hours since we have arrived. Initially the children were wary of the rental house. My two youngest did not want to sleep. My middle daughter talked to my mother and sang to the poodle until 1AM. My youngest tossed and turned and whined nearly all night. However, the morning turned everyone around to the proper attitude.
I was worried about taking a beach vacation. Nearly all my memories of the beach are entwined with memories of my father. My husband had our two daughters by the hand in the surf. I felt my own father's hand gripping mine, his rough palm clasped tightly over my more delicate skin. No one knew that tears wet my eyes behind the sunglasses.
I am not a believer in fate, but as a writer I find I want to employ this phrase: It was as if the beach required my tears, a gift of salty water to appease the waves. Helicopter gunships flew along the coast, too low and too close to the shore. Dad would have chuckled about that. He enjoyed occasionally breaking rules. The low tide left pools filled with miniature shells, the kinds that Dad like to pluck from the sand to marvel at their size.
I paid my tribute to the ocean.