Monday, September 14, 2020

On Beach Vacation, I Dream of Him—A Journal

Friday, September 11

When morning comes, a gold light suffused with scent of salt water greets me. The muffled  roar of ocean sounds just beyond the cottage on Seagull Way where I vacation for a week. 

It was never supposed to be like this, I think. This being alone on a beach vacation on a barrier island in the Atlantic. Last night winds whistled and thunder boomed. Nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the Outer Banks in North Carolina is a stormy treacherous meeting place of southern and northern winds and water that shipwrecked many. 

I deserved to be with him today. It's his birthday, September, 11. He deserved to be here, taking in this time and place—surf and sky, calm now. I shake the feeling of wondering the impossible.

I sip my coffee on the deck. The news on my cellphone is more the same. Fires raging out West. A virus out of control. Riots in the streets. When people belittle and scorn each other, everyone—and everything—is corrupted.

I finish my coffee and slip on bathing suit and shorts, glance at the woman in the mirror. Not young anymore, but not bad. Oh well. Maybe when I get home, I'll join a dating site, forestall the loneliness, although how lonely is it to meet a stranger for coffee?

It’s a short walk to the beach, up a sandy path, across a golden windswept dune. Crashing waves with curled silver manes inspire the poet's muse. Although no poet, I find journaling therapeutic and the thoughts written here come to me later when I want to write, not when I feel forced to write. 

A couple strolls the water's edge, holds hands. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He wasn’t supposed to die. I wasn’t supposed to be alone. I dream of a strong man in my bed. I dream of him, walking the beach.

I walk toward the shore. Swirling around my ankles like a rite of redemption, the riptide's surprising force pulls at my legs, my toes dig in deep to keep me from falling. I breathe in where sky meets sea. It is suddenly very warm. Where have the years gone? This is my vacation, my beach vacation. I let it all go.


kathleen pooler said...

Susan, you show us how grief has no bounds or timeframe in this profoundly heartfelt essay. I’m so happy you were able to get away to the ocean for relaxation and reflection. John will always be a special part of who you are. I know you know you are blessed with your two wonderful sons who mirror their father. Wishing you peace, dear friend. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and sentiments.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Kathy. Peace to you, too, and stay healthy and safe.

Marilyn said...

Susan, this is a beautiful, inspirational essay. You will always have your loving memory of John, and your two wonderful sons help you to fill the void. A vacation is a poignant time to reflect on your life together and what might have been.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Marilyn, a time of reflection made more poignant by his birthday and sky and sea.