Most of my greatest memories as a child and as an adult were at the beach. Well into my adult life, one beach was the main place of joy and happiness for my entire family. Just hearing the name Black Brook Beach in Ingonish, Nova Scotia brings a smile to my face. Boogie boarding in the massive waves there was a huge part of my life. Even my grandmother who is petrified of the water, or maybe more what’s in the water, would join us in the waves at Black Brook. We’d have chicken fights and build sand castles and BBQ hot dogs. It’s my version of the perfect day. When I heard about the death of two of my family members this week, I immediately made my way to the beach. I was more than 2000 miles away from my family but the ocean connected us.
Hard Rock Hotel has always been my favorite all-inclusive resort. We visited a few other properties as a family and we’re starting to consider it the best place to vacation together. We do enjoy exploring new countries and cultures as a family, but when it comes to spending the most time together on vacation, Hard Rock is the place to be. Luckily, even after suffering great loss this week, I was able to have moments of happiness with Athena and Darren.
Sitting on the beach while Athena did handstands in the sand gave me time to remember so many beautiful moments with my family. Athena reminds me of my mother and all of her sisters. They are so free-spirited and love to sing, dance and party. (The singing might only be considered a good trait if you’re completely tone deaf. Luckily, I am so I enjoy it. Sorry, Mom, but we all know it’s true.) I was hurting and fighting back tears yet when I thought of my aunt Shelley dancing with my mother on the beach while listening to my grandmother sing, it made me laugh. (The girls got their craziness honestly from their mother and it’s trickled down through my entire family.)
I stayed on the beach until the sun dipped into the ocean and lit up the sky with shades of yellow and orange. Then, I made my way up to my room to call my mom. Again, I was having a hard time fighting back the tears until my mom told me that she went to the beach too. We were both there thinking similar thoughts about how wonderful our lives have been together.
I am grateful for my family and all of the memories we’ve made together. Athena will grow up with the same fun-loving nature because I learned from the best. Here’s to dancing in the sand, playing cards all night long, and singing at the top of our lungs.
I will continue to grief with my family but the good memories always find their way in.