We are excited. Alex is coming home for a few days and we are planning to take a short trip together. It is difficult to envision such a thing, a pleasure trip, but we must find new traditions for our triangulated family to survive, to one day thrive again. Contemplating these new travels returns my thoughts to ponderings I had of you at the beach a few weeks ago.
Morgan, there are flashes of you all around. I see your rounded toddler legs pumping up and down the beach, splashing in the surf like a little sandpiper. I see your towhead white in the sunlight like dandelion fluff. I see your skin bronzing and freckles dawning on your nose. I see you dragging surfboards and buckets full of treasured shells over the dunes. I remember the grit of sand ridden sheets, of course in our bed, introduced by baby feet at nap time snuggle. I love to think of you grown and sleek in the water jumping waves for hours with Dad and laughing all the while. I see glimpses of you in other young girls, Kate, Eva, Iris. I think of you whenever a gesture or turn of phrase reveals youth and promise. These little daily bursts, trigger my memory cascade.
Morgan, don’t get me wrong, this process is NOT sad. I actually relish these memories and revisiting our time together. I am so grateful for what we did share. A lifetime telescoped into 20 short years. Was it your destiny Morgan, morgen? My morning girl, to leave here in the morning of your life? Perhaps.
We are all in the process of becoming; some of us change more profoundly or more quickly than others. We can only hope to transform into better, more useful stuff. That’s the goal. I understand that sometimes this metamorphosis is thrust, indeed forced on us, not chosen. The abrupt onset of transformation makes it harder to discern the innate positive aspects of change. That acceptance follows at a slower pace.
I remember several years ago pacing the beach, desperate to find one perfect shell to take to the sickbed of my beloved sister, dying at 50 years old. There were NONE. On this barrier island pummeled by tides, the shells are all fragments and bits. I wanted perfect, found none, and was forced to see a different option. We gathered broken shells, strung them together and presented Jackie with a mermaid’s necklace instead. You have to adapt to circumstances – as difficult as that seems.
Those broken shells are beaten and pounded into bits and become so tiny – grains of sand, which coalesce and become the beach we walk upon. That is what we must do. Take the broken pieces, the shards, the grains and build an island. This synthesis is the key to survival and the very heart of love.
We can do it, if you help Morgan.