Skip to main content

One more walk on the beach

Labor Day has always been a time of rest and relaxation for me. It was also a big holiday for my mother who might spend up to a month prior to this weekend pulling together an amazing event—a massive family gathering. Our family would rent a beach house for the long weekend and gather as many relatives under one roof as possible. The kitchen was constantly in use—sometimes hectic but always enjoyable, we were never short of food or people to eat it. Out on the beach, my cousins and I would divide our time between swimming in the ocean, building sand castles or just taking long walks and catching up. At night, we’d go into the little town nearby and have ice cream and re-stock the groceries. Some evenings we'd play board games or just sit around retelling stories of our younger days. Once the ‘older folk’ went to bed, the young and young-at-heart would watch late-night movies or take a moonlit walk on the beach swapping the stories not fit to share with parents. As we got older and started our own families, it became more challenging to round everyone up for the beach but we always seemed to manage it somehow—it was a time of being together as a family.

Last year, the family vacation was cut short by a hurricane. While I can’t begin to compare my experience to what just happened in New Orleans, it was still quite an ordeal for all of us. For two days and nights, we weathered the howling winds and torrential rain. Even though our beach house was up on stilts, there was flooding from the rain being blown through the seals of the windows and sliding glass doors. I spent most of my evenings changing towels around the different windows and doors to sop up all the gathering water. When the storm had subsided, everyone decided to leave the beach and head back inland. I see that storm now as a prelude to the whirlwind of changes forthcoming in my family.

This year, I’m not at the beach. This year I’m home with my wife and kids. I’ve used all sorts of weak excuses: the new baby is too young to travel, we just want to stay at home this year, I have to do my hair (see my picture?) The truth of the matter is that my mother passed away this year and this is the first Labor Day of many to come without her. I wish for nothing more right now than to take a walk on the beach with her and talk about all the things that have happened since we last spoke. Since I won’t be at the beach this year, I’ll have to settle for seeing my mother’s joy in my daughter’s smile.

Comments

  1. despite the fact that family was all around me, that i couldn't get a moment of peace, and that i had to share rooms and showers...without her the house was too large.

    i missed you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Story Problems and Escape Pods

This is a continuation of a previous post. If you'd like to read it first, click here.

Danny managed to sit in his seat just as the last bell in the school chimed. He barely avoided another tardy by bolting down the hall while ducking under the little windows in every classroom door. His dad had dropped his mother and sister off first before driving like a crazy person to get him to school. Like a scene straight out of an action film, the van had rocked back and forth it dodged cars, swung around corners and squealed tires. When his father skidded up to the school, he yelled, “GO! GO! GO!”

"Danny run!" shouted Molly from the school's main door. Molly was Danny's best friend and the one always helping to keep him out of trouble. "You'll be late again if you don't hurry!" Danny turned to say goodbye to his dad but the van was already screeching around the corner and headed out of sight. Quickly he started running toward Molly. She waved him down the…

If

by Nabih Saliba
If she should smile, the Sun would shine and all the world would flourish for I am hers and she is mine to love, to hold and cherish.
If she should dream, the sky would ring as all the angels cheer it then I would sing so I could bring the way that she might hear it.
If she could share, she’d know we care about the world she lives in then we could bare our feelings there so she could know where we’ve been.
If she should fear, she’d stop in fright––the world would shrink and bind her so I will come to bring a light and in the darkness find her.
If she would cry, the stars would fall and weigh her soul with sorrow then I shall peel away the sky and bring about tomorrow.
If she would love, life opens up––a realm without a border for then the world makes sense to me, the universe in order.
If I could say how much she means to me and those around her then maybe she might step aside and let the world astound her.

The Light

The Light By Nabih Saliba
I light the path for all to see They shall not trip because of me How great I am that darkness flee I do all this without a fee
And so it went each night for lamp Who proudly thought itself a champ But then one evening came a tramp His clothes were worn, and torn, and damp
He staggered left, he stumbled right He should not try to walk at night The drunkard fell into the light Thrown from the lamp with disdain bright
Why should I help this man below? He’s far beneath me don’t you know His lesser breeding clearly show This beggar can’t deserve my glow
And so the lamp let darkness fall On he who lay there in a ball As shadows grew both thin and tall The lamp stood off for one and all
Then suddenly the night time fled