My birth certificate says I was born in Prague. Inland. Not beside the sea. Sometimes I think this must be a mistake.
I feel my best at the sea. I do my best thinking at the sea.
This Friday I had lunch with all of my children. It’s very rare these days that I can get them all together apart from Christmas. Kerstin, Adam, Chloe and I drove downtown to met Jonathan on his lunch break.
We walked to Gyoza King on Robson. It seemed like a good idea.
At any rate, any one of the thousands of restaurants downtown would have been just fine. No one paid much attention to the food. Everyone was grateful to be together.
I’ll tell you why.
Sept 1st I got a 2am phone call from Kerstie. She was hysterical. Her father had just died.
I can’t describe the feeling of helplessness that came over me trying to comfort my daughter across 5000 miles. The next phone call to Jonathan was even worse. Then a quick check on Chloe to see she was ok. Though not her father, her heart was breaking in sympathy, feeling the pain her brother and sister were feeling.
But my children are strong, they are brave, they are resilient, they rallied. They organised that part of their family, the memorial, the funeral, and began closing down their father’s life step by step.
Talking to them separately, seeing them separately something didn’t dawn on me.
It wasn’t till lunch on Friday that I noticed that they both had that deer-caught-in-the-headlights haunted look in their beautiful brown eyes.
I sat at the beach and did my usual thing…built a fantasy sand castle with the found objects around me.
I thought about my children, their father, how changed their life is, how changed their life is about to be.
I thought about my feelings…you know…as their mother. I tried to come up with any way that I could take some of the pain from them. How can I protect them from it all? I can’t. They have to live thru the pain and come out the other end…eventually…in time.
And, I walked on the beach.
As I walked I found red roses wrapped up in seaweed. Lying there on the rocks.
I wondered who lost the roses in the sea and, I wondered why, except for the concern and love I feel for my children, I wondered why I don’t feel anything.
Nothing at all.