Where she goes on and on about beaches and children and red roses.

September 23, 2012

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.

Today I went to the beach to think.

I sat at the beach and did my usual thing…built a fantasy sand castle with the found objects around me.

Built and thought.

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.

Funny story...well, not the part about the dead goose
Solitary, a WordPress weekly photo challenge

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  • Reply Sabra Bowers September 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about the pain your children are experiencing. The transition of a parent is life altering. My daughter’s dad (my husband) died 5 years ago. We know some of what you are going through. Know I care.

    • Reply Veronica September 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you Sabra. Sorry for your loss too. I’m glad you’re my friend. 🙂

  • Reply Jo Ann J. A. Jordan September 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Veronica, it is okay to be numb in the face of this. Be there for your children and try to be very kind to yourself.

    • Reply Veronica September 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you Jo Ann. It’s hard to sort feelings right now and the simplest thing is to support my children thru this.

  • Reply Linda G Hatton September 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    What a bittersweet post. My heart goes out to your kids – and you. When I lost my dad, even though I’d experienced death many other times, his death was different. It changed my perspective on life and death. Sending warmth.

    • Reply Veronica September 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much Linda. It’s been 5 years now of loosing family members. (Dad, aunts, friends, ex) It can all just stop now! Happily, we have two new babies in the family to focus on.

  • Reply Romelle Broas September 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    This is so touching. It takes courage to share an intimate part of you. Thank you. My sympathy goes out to you and your children. I pray for strength for all of you. Your children will need you now more than ever during this time.

    • Reply Veronica September 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Romelle, thank you so much. It took me a very long time to write this post. I was a little worried about writing it, you know, because it’s not so much my story to tell; it’s more my children’s story. But it’s so wonderful to have lovely people like you leave me a comment.

  • Reply michellepond September 24, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your feelings at this difficult time. I am certain this post will help many people. My heart goes out to you and your children.

    • Reply Veronica September 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Michelle, thank you so much, you’re so sweet. It took me a very long time to find the words. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if my post did help someone? That would be great.

  • Reply jlynn sheridan September 24, 2012 at 5:03 am

    When our kids hurt, we hurt, but that hurt is too deep at first to manifest itself. Just be. And just be for your kids. My heart also goes out to you and your kids.

    • Reply Veronica September 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Aww, thank you JLynn. It’s true, I hate to see my kids in any kind of distress and this is a big one.

  • Reply julochka September 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    i think it’s quite a natural feeling, but those roses tangled in seaweed must mean something…a silver lining, perhaps? hugs!

    • Reply Veronica September 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Julie, those roses were magical. I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. Hugs back to you. Thank you for being my friend. 🙂

  • Reply Sara V September 25, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Veronica, you completely nailed that mom-magic wand feeling, you never want your kids to hurt. So sorry for the loss and pain. That was amazing to find roses on the beach–a sympathy bouquet from the sea? I too find my peace and joy there–it’s a very understanding body of water.

    • Reply Veronica September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      It is, isn’t it Sara. I’m glad you also find peace at the sea; I knew we were kindred spirits. 🙂

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