As children, my cousin and I made promises to each other. We promised that no matter what? we would always remain close. This is a promise that has been kept. Only a year apart, we grew up more like sisters than cousins, that hasn’t changed.
When we visited during holidays and summers? we always begged for just one more day…. a few more hours….and always left one another crying – and our mothers crying too. We just wanted to be together, just like our mothers did as well. We grew up in different states, but only a couple of hours drive away. Sometimes it seemed like we were thousands of miles apart. Kids don’t recognize miles, only the separation.
We made plans to travel together when we were adults (we were going to work for Delta Airlines) Our menu would be whatever we wanted to eat, and would always be night owls. Life was going to be easy/peasy. Little girls with big dreams. Well, as it goes? Real life happened.
After marriages and children… our distance only widened. Phone calls and brief visits were never enough but that is how it had to be. We suffered through expected and unexpected losses of both of our parents, hard life stuff… but we still tried to keep our promises of remaining close. Life hasn’t changed that part.
One of our biggest promises to keep would be this – One day, we would be by the ocean together. She had never seen it in all of her forty-something years. She saw it through my pictures and emails.. and even a phone call to hear the waves in the background. I would often describe how awesome it was, how peaceful and how vast the skyline appeared, but it wasn’t the same.
In 2014, she had the chance to go to the beach with one of her great friends. Finally, she would see it for the first time. Happiness for her was an understatement and just like I had always known? she fell in love with the sand and salt air just as I had at the age of 16. Yet, our promise of being together on the same beach was still waiting to be kept.
Hearing the news that she would be returning to the ocean again this year was even more exciting since it would be on the North Carolina coastline…my beach. This time, she was keeping a promise to her three grandchildren to experience it for the first time. So, I made plans to make the little two-hour drive to be with them for a couple of days during their vacation. I wanted to take pictures more than I ever have, to capture the moment for them as a family. Her daughter had captured this one.. precious!
I can’t tell you how fast those two days went by..it was quick, but in a sense? time stood still. Childhood promises had dissolved into an amazing reality for the both of us. Forty some years of a promise kept…the kind of happy that will always be a treasured moment.
We now add to our bond, the love of the ocean together… smelling the salt air, sand castles with her grands and long walks on the beach and of course, there was coffee on the screened porch and many moments that I fought back tears of happy, promises kept? you better believe it.Long after shaking the sand from our belongings upon returning home, we brought back some parts of the beach to our homes, but now? a part of our souls will always remain there – together, a promise kept at last.
I had once sent a quote from my sea glass book to her… but now she fully understands.. why we will always connected by the sea.
My Favorite Find (excerpt from Sea Glass Hunter’s Handbook by C.S. Lambert
First I smell that smell and am overcome with a sensation of elation. Like a tight faucet turned open, everything floods from me. I scan the view, take a deep breath, and inevitably utter, “God, I love it here.” I stride quickly to where the sand is still wet from the previous tide and then, then I am gone. There is no thinking, just being. I have no awareness of myself. If I am searching for glass, it is rote, with no more or no less consciousness than a jellyfish searching for sustenance….. I am reduced to nothing, but part of everything. I am home, I am free, I am one with the sea.