A Celebration (Both In Your Absence and In Your Presence)



We made a trip out to California this past month to celebrate the holidays with family.  It was the first time back since that Christmas just after Tyler left us.  I hardly realized that it had been two years.  Those years were so full and just seemed to have passed so quickly.  It was refreshing to be back, to reconnect with our loved ones and for the most part, we all agreed that it was one of best visits back we had ever had.  But there was indeed something missing.

It was such a normal integral part of our visit out west, to be with you; a highlight of our trip always was our time with you. I didn’t forget you were gone, I knew I wouldn’t see you.  I was aware but even when I wasn’t consciously thinking about it, my soul spoke to me.  Standing on the platform awaiting the bus at the airport, a simple glance across the street at the palm trees swaying in the wind, I was swept back to that day in February, three years ago (nearly four now).  Back to that day, I waited in that same spot, gazed upon those same palm trees, awaiting the bus that would take me to you.  I remember texting you to let you know I had arrived.  You seemed so excited and were so attentive to my every need.  I felt special.  Standing now, in that same spot again, even before those memories filled my mind, without warning I was overcome and the tears flowed.  My heart spoke to me before my mind couldn’t even catch up with what was happening.  That’s the way it is so often for me. I honored those tears, as I always do.  And then I knew.

I knew that even in your absence, this trip, I had to find a way to be with you.  At your beach was the only way I knew how. 

Our trip was full and wonderful. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my Pea (my cousin Melanie) and her wonderful family whom we love so much. Good food and the best of company. Much love and laughter, as always.  Dinner with my Dad; TWICE!  A family photo shoot dream come true with my dear friend.  And lots of fun time with our extended family too!

And the day before we were set to leave, just as it was before, on that day that was to become our last day together,  (I hardly even realized that either until now) we ventured to County Line beach for the day.

I never could’ve imagined nor was I prepared for how exactly this day mirrored that day I came to your beach to say goodbye to you two years ago.  But you saw to it.  It’s so clear to me now (if only I allow myself to believe) that you guided us there, through it all you were with us. 

First, I think it’s important to note that we weren’t even sure we would be able to go that day.  El Nino 2016 was threatening the valley with its presence, predicted thunderstorms and record rainfall, and most importantly “high tide”; not exactly the perfect conditions for a trip to the beach.  But the sun was shining in our favor and we decided it just meant too much to us not to risk it.  And wouldn’t ya know, perfect weather, the entire day.  So beautiful, couldn’t have asked for more. We definitely had heaven’s blessing.

Second, was the incident of our gps quitting on us just when we thought we were nearly there.  It kicked in, just in time, to re-route us back through an all too familiar route.  Driving through the area, admiring the beauty of our surroundings and then that left turn onto a highway we recognized to be the exact same highway we took last time, past the same sights: the rocky beach we pulled off the road to on our last trip there, the same rocks I sat upon and had that incredible, magical experience with the wind and the birds.


I was overcome, it was so clear, this was your doing. I don’t know how! But even when my mind protested, my heart knew it was you! And as I spoke silently to you in my head, Rodel, directed my attention to these words flowing from the stereo:

Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Oh, heaven let your light shine down
Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to look
Tell me will love be there
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

Pulling up to County Line Beach, the only parking available, so very close to the same spot we pulled up to back then.


And once we were on the beach . . . so many, many meaningful moments.



the surfers



the tide rolling in around my feet. I swear I could feel you beside me. Remembering what it was like to hold your little hands, lifting your little body up into the air as the water came in, you squirming and laughing with delight.


We discovered a part of the beach we had never noticed and it was teeming with such life.

We discovered a part of the beach we had never noticed and it was teeming with such life.



Beautiful intricate little creatures. Such beauty to be found once our eyes were opened.


And then, there was this. A solitary, extraordinairy flawless, pure white rock sitting amidst a mountain of ordinary stones. Magical like you.

And then, there was this. A solitary, extraordinary flawless, pure white rock sitting amidst a mountain of ordinary stones. Magical, perfect like you. I swooped it up and put it in my pocket.  A gift. 


We ended that day with a stop for lunch at Neptune’s Net (the very last place my eyes would ever look upon you) and the magic continued there and on the way home.


More circumstances, “coincidences” to many, too meaningful to be simply that.  More confirmation, affirmation that those we love are never far from us and should we choose to see there’s is so much magic and beauty all around us.  So much of it to be savoured, life to be enjoyed; a celebration.

A celebration of you, my brother!

Our day on the beach with you was nothing short of what I knew it would be, nothing short of what it always was and always will be with you: special and perfect. 



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