For the past 15 years my family and I have taken our vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. When Joey and I started dating he started coming with us. Over the years of marriage and children it has become our family tradition as well.
Last year we came a month after Joeys passing. I remember very little of the trip. I was constantly faking a smile and trying to hide the tears that were always sitting in the back of my eyes. I would roam around the beach at night just looking for a sign from him. I knew he had to be there with us, I just couldn’t feel him.
The ocean has always been my happy place. I feel like my soul reenergizes there. I can feel God in the breeze, in the sound of the waves. He has always been so close to me there. I remember sitting on the beach last year and telling my sister, I literally can’t hear the ocean right now. She didn’t seem to know what I meant. But I was so numb to life that I felt like I had lost my connection to God, to everything.
This year when we went I knew it was going to stir up all those emotions again. But I always try to remind myself to feel them no matter what. I think the only thing worse than the hurt and grief is the numbness. The pain is proof of the love that was and always will be there. Numbness is nothingness.
When I saw the ocean I automatically felt lighter. I knew my soul needed this. I could smell the salt this time, I could hear God in the waves. And of course the tears followed but that was ok.
As a family we had a great time, we swam all day and laughed all night. I had my moments where the tears would just fall. You know at certain times what that person would be doing and it kills you they aren’t there. Or you can imagine how much fun your kids would be having with their daddy in the pool and it breaks your heart all over again.
Family tradition are never easy, you want your family the way it’s supposed to be and it’s not. There is a small part of you that wants to throw a fit like a child and cancel every tradition or holiday and sit in your misery. But I can’t do that to my kids. They need to live and they need to keep those traditions going so they can remember when they did them with their dad. So I keep doing them.
I’m glad we went to the beach this year. I know every year we go there will be moments of sadness but I also know that I am healing. So I will continue to work through the emotions and keep pushing for our kids. And my hope would be that one day they take their kids there and tell them all the fun things they did and all the memories they have of their daddy there with them.