In the last week of August, we took a much needed beach vacation with the family. With a packed minivan of beach towels, toys, chairs, we departed for our rental in Bethany Beach, DE.
The boy cousins bonded. From playing at the boardwalk arcade to sharing ice cones, they were unsurprisingly inseparable.
My eldest bunked with her Tia Mimi, my oldest sister and her godmother, for much of the trip. Her aunt still playing a unique role in her life, different than a mother or a grandmother’s.
My sisters and I– the hermanitas — shared several glasses of wine over stories.
And we all spent as much time we had with Dad.
Though there were plenty of good times shared, it felt as if someone was missing. Mom.
I spent much of my time on the beach with the kids. But there were runs and bike rides I took alone. Though I surprisingly never felt alone. Because in every mile I ran, every interval I completed, I felt her beside me. And she’d appear when I least expected it — when I was exhausted, when it hurt, when it got too hard.
She encapsulated a kind of invaluable maternal comfort, a constant strength, offering rough-edged wisdom and hope — the purest essence of a Mother to me. Even though she’s passed, my natural need for her still thrives — the need for strength, and for love.
As the tide grows, the waves crash loud and louder, she still packs the sand, hoping to share a beautiful creation before it’s swept up by sea.