You have been on my mind this past week. My husband and I took our oldest two children, their spouses and our three grandbabies on a family vacation to Surfside City, SC on Monday.
Like every vacation we settled in and began to familiarize ourselves with the area. Finally, I felt settled enough to venture out on my own.
I saw a pier in the distance and set off to explore the sandy terrain. The sky was a vibrant blue and the salty air felt like tiny kisses on my skin. I was pretty certain I could have walked for hours in those conditions. As I walked through the fine sugar, I recounted my childhood adventures at the beach just a few miles from where I was walking. Then I played back the beach vacations I had taken my daughters on; nothing somber or sullen, just fragments of sillyness and delight came to my mind.
And then I saw young surfers- one girl - five boys - and one patient mom helping them wiggle into their wetsuits.
I have never surfed nor have I given it much attention or thought. But on this particular day, I stood back and watched these innocent, beautiful teenagers paddle with all of their might, attempting to catch a wave only to be toppled into the sea. The exercise was repeated over and over until finally a successful journey to the shore was won. The others didn't make a fuss or cheer each other on, it was like an unspoken adoration shown only by each of them not giving up.
I can't say for sure how long I stood there, but I saw a lot of falls and a few great rides. The tenacity was unwavering. The quiet respect to the ocean and each other was awe inspiring. I thought of your son, Kevin, and how he must have had a similar demeanor - a calm in knowing there were waves that would be just for him. I thought about how each wave was unique and would never be repeated. I reflected on how God is so consistent at loving us just the same as He is at bringing the waves to the shores - each unique, each intentional, and never-ending.
The ocean brings me great calm and simultaneously exhilaration. I have always viewed it as His mighty hand that brings the magic, power, beauty and strength to those who are blessed to stand on the water's edge. But last week, I was shown it is so much more than that to those who ride the tides. They know how special they are to Him. They know that silence is respect. They know that their brother or sister is deserving of a wave. They know the first wave is only the beginning. And, they understand if they miss one - it wasn't meant to be.
After this experience, I believe surfers must be born with unique souls. I remember you saying Kevin had a "surfer's soul." It must have been the sea in him that drew him to the blue waters. What a wonderful young man I'm certain he was, and I'm saddened that I never had the opportunity to meet such a treasured surfer. And yet, in some strange way, I felt I met the essence of who he was through those six young surfers
I love you and thank you for entering my world at such a dark and heavy time. Thank you for being who He meant you to be. You are a blessing to me.
Sharon Younie "a mom like you"