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.