Saturday, December 05, 2009
Growing up, we spent a lot of time at the coast. My Grandparents lived there in a darling beach house that was so close the the water, we could walk from their house to the sand in about 5 minutes.
We created so many memories of that little beach town that I think we all felt that we had ownership of it. We knew each little store and restaurant, the names of all the streets, where the steps led down to the sand.
When my Grandparents got too old to live in their home, it had to be sold in order to pay for their care. I know that our treasures are in Heaven, but losing that home was like losing a piece of my heart.
The first time we went back there, I couldn't even get out of the car. I started crying as the freeway exit approached and didn't stop for a full ten minutes. We drove up and down a street or two and when Alif asked if I'd like to get out I told him I just couldn't do it. It was just not the same without my Grandparents to greet us, without the familiar home away from home.
A few years ago my Dad and his wife started a Thanksgiving tradition of renting a home in another small beach community. It was nice to get away and spend time at the beach again. Over the years, though, it's turned into much more than that. It's a healing place. A place we can return to year after year. My kids are starting to know all the little shops. They know which streets lead down to the sand. They run with reckless abandon into the freezing cold water. They look forward to walking down the pier on our last day and then eating at the fish & chips shop nearby.
I know that God cares about our hearts, and I'm so thankful to Him for making a new tradition. It will never be the same as my Grandparents' home, of course, but it's wonderful nonetheless.