All summer, we’ve been saying that we wanted to take Annie to the beach. Then suddenly, it was August and we hadn’t gone. I felt bad; we live so close to the beach it practically requires effort to not go. When I was a kid it felt like we went to the beach every summer day, and part of the reason Mike and I moved to the suburbs was to give Annie the same experiences I’d had growing up.
But, I didn’t feel bad enough to want to go.
My mom and Mike, however, decided they were going to take Annie. I thought that sounded great! I could lay on my couch with the air conditioning blasting and catch up on Bunheads while they got hot and sandy. But they insisted I go along with them. They said it would be nice.
We went to the beach I went to as a kid. It was exactly how I remembered it (sandy).
Mike walked Annie down to the water to fill up their buckets. Annie was not a fan of the ocean. No matter.
She was a fan of using her shovel…
…cleaning off rocks…
…splashing in her bucket…
…and pointing at birds.
At one point Annie and I watched a girl climb aboard a surfboard. I remembered the times Jackie and I went to the beach (every single weekend). One summer I talked Jackie and Dana into taking surfing lessons with me. We spent many early Saturday mornings in the ocean, sitting on our boards yards away from the shore, talking and laughing.
Eventually one of us would ride a wave in, but we always met back in the ocean. That very same ocean.
The beach was nice. I wished she was there.
Beth Mariel says:
Oh I’m sure she was there with you in spirit. Jackie lives on in all of our hearts.
I’m so sorry for your pain, sweet Heather. I hope you felt a connection to her there, with the surfers and the sand and the waves crashing. That’s wonderful that you went to the beach so many times with your amazing friend.
I clicked on the link to the guest post from your friend Dana, and was so touched by that entry. My beloved Grandma is at the end of her fight with various ailments, and we are cherishing the time we have left with her. Recently I thought of that story about the dimes, and I knew I had read it on one of the many blogs that I follow, but I couldn’t remember where. I am so happy you linked back to that post. It was so amazing to re-read and I hope that I am lucky enough to find little messages from her one day. You have no idea how much I needed to read that story today….
I love the idea of your grandmas, and sweet Maddie and your Jackie all hanging out together, having a grand time, dressing up and dancing and laughing. I wish they were all here with you, but if they can’t be, I’m glad they have each other.
Love to you all.
Annie’s the cutest
I know Jackie! was there with you. She was in every breeze you felt, hugging you.
I wish Maddie and Jackie were there with you, too. The photos are gorgeous and in them you can see what a great time Annie is having. I’m sure she’ll remember her summers just the way you want her to. … I hope you’ve been able to get some sleep somehow. ((hugs))
I live 3 hours from the beach, which I know is nothing compared to those who live in the middle of the country, but it still seems far and I don’t get to go very often. I’m so jealous of you and Annie getting to grow up with a beach so close by! I hope you make lots of fun summer memories there over the coming years. I’m so sorry Maddie and Jackie! can’t be there with you, though.
Looks like a wonderful day! Annie has GREAT hair!!
HA! I came in here to post that! Annie’s hair is RIDICULOUS. Look at that curl! Those streaks of gold! UH-mazing!
Loving the beach shots. Wish I lived nearby the beach. Maybe you can do a beach video with Annie. Would be lovely.
Looks like it was a beautiful day. I wish she was there with you too. xo
I just wanted to write to you because you were in my thoughts all weekend, and when I attended church I prayed for you and your family. Although I do not know you personally, I fell like I have a good idea of the type of person you and Mike are. My heart hearts for you more than you would know. I have never met anyone half as strong as you are. I know that with everything you have been through most people would not be able to even push through even though they have littles ones to care for. I am a firm believer that we all have a purpose in life and yours in to be an inspiration an Angel like person here on earth. I know that I could never be ungratful for my blessings no matter how small they are because I have not even endured any of the hurt you have experienced in your young life. I am thankful I found your blog and know that there are alot of people out there you never met but you have touched our hearts. Love you like a sister.. Maddy is also an Angel to me and truly believe she is always reading your blog and comments. Hi Maddy, you are missed little girl but not forgotten.
I always think Annie looks like Mike, but in that last picture, I had to do a double-take….that is all out Heather!!!
Those pictures of Annie are gorgeous! We live in south Orange County and I always feel *guilt* when I don’t take the kids to the beach during the summer months. Usually I’m pretty good at it, but on the days that I skip it because I have other things I’d rather be doing, some kind of voice whispers in my ear, “Are you kidding me? On a day like THIS you are not going to make the ten minute drive to the beach? LAZY! What a waste of where you live! Think if the your kids!! They need to be at the beach!” Ugh, I hate that voice. But usually it’s right: I should give them more beach days! So we went twice this week. The mommy-guilt is gone.
I was just wondering if I missed a post where you explain why you no longer write Jackie’s name with the exclamation point anymore. I’m so used to seeing Jackie referred to as Jackie! but now you no longer do that. None of my business, I know, but I’ve just noticed that and so I was wondering. I”m so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful friend.
No, you didn’t miss it…I don’t know. I think right now it feels weird to me to type the exclamation point after her name. I can’t pinpoint why, but every time I type “Jackie!” it feels wrong. I know I will come back to it eventually. I didn’t think anyone would notice! But I’m glad you asked, it gave me something to think about.
I love hearing all of your stories about the beach (I have HUGE GREAT Sunny Weather/BEACH Envy). BUT, at the same time it makes me so sad to know right now those great stories are causing you sorrow. Annie is adorable as also. I’m glad you went to the beach Sweetie. I know it’s hard to go out when all you want to do is just “be” at home but it’s good to go out and especially to get some of that Great Vit.B in your body. I think about you so often.
With Love, Friendship & Support!! xo
I am so very sorry. Thank you for sharing such special memories of your dear friend. I hope that someday, when the grief is not so raw, these same memories will bring you comfort.
Jackie! Was right there!!!
Peace & strength. Annie is gorgeous!
I agree with many of the sentiments above, i.e., I too think she was there in spirit. You also you carried her memories of her there in your heart as well.
(But it’s okay if that’s not enough)