July 4, 2013
We are gathered here at the beach again – Dan’s 32nd trip with the same group to these shores. I joined in a bit later, you and Alex later still – first as unsteady toddlers, squealing in the surf and eating fistfuls of sand. I think you loved both the salt and the crunch of it.
As a 7 year old you adamantly dragged your own “surf board” float up the boardwalk and stairs to the ocean. Your skin slowly bronzing, a spray of tiny freckles on your nose, hair white blond from the sun blowing in the wind like an areola of light. The light was called to you – golden child.
Later you were awkward teens; uneasy in morphing bodies, changing roles. Only here the relentless winds and tides blew away pretense and helped you to find/ be yourself in this stark simple place. It was a wondrous and healing process to watch.
That last summer was the best of all – you were so gloriously alive and joy filled, radiantly beautiful. Happiness beaming from you, like a Kleig light. Dan in particular was blessed with the pleasure of spending beach time with an accomplished grown up daughter. You two “grown-ups” cavorted and splashed and played together like children in the waves. Thank you for these precious moments.
This is our fourth trip to Avon, NC since your murder. It’s getting better. We are getting better at feeling the loss, the pain and letting it pass, flow through us like a wave, feeling and not resisting the destructive power which allows us to remain standing in our high tide of grief.
We are figuring it out but it is slow going. Morgan do you remember the scads of pictures I always took – a mama paparazzi, anxious to record every family moment for posterity; I don’t take pictures at the beach anymore; I just can’t find the family.