Yesterday, we scattered the rest of our parents’ ashes in Asbury Park and then treated ourselves to lunch and coffee.
After she drove home, I walked the beach by myself for a little while. In any weather, my time at the ocean changes my energy dramatically. Some go to church; I come here.
Sitting on the beach, I reflected on the many changes of my recent life, feeling certain that I am moving away from the shock and learning to live a new normal.
We’d talked about being lucky that, even as they died younger than we would’ve wanted, they lived long enough to get to know us as adults. We know their take on pretty much every topic and we can therefore still take - and occasionally ignore - their advice.
We are even old enough now to understand and make peace with their respective shortcomings. Those crazy tricksters were just doing their best. We get it now.
COVID ruined our initial plans for a larger family gathering in the Outer Banks and, after a while, the ashes just sort of stayed in my living room. Next to my desk for a while, next to the love seat for a while, behind the TV. It weighed on me every day. We were given the advice to JUST BE DONE WITH IT ALREADY - so we did.
On my way out of town, I went to the Ocean Grove post office and mailed some memorial gifts to various family members up and down the coast.
Mostly what I recall of this beach walk, other than the cute dogs who greeted me, was having a big smile on my face while I considered how much work I can get done over the winter. I’ve been so behind on myself - and for good reason. But now I get to make up for lost time. And I’m ecstatic!