Come … let us walk together just one more time. Let’s watch as the sun rises to chase the mist out to sea.
Come … hold hands … like we always did;
The sea fret is numbing my fingers and toes as I follow the way marker, grass trodden down by countless footsteps.
Our steps are here too. Ghost steps, Phantoms;
Remember how we would race down to the rocks, to be first to find treasure. A tide pool, teeming with life. Spidery crabs scuttling for cover, a sea anemone recoiling from my prodding finger, and tiny fish darting this way and that. You rolled up your sleeve and pulled out an exquisitely patterned shell.
Do you remember?
“A curly one,” I’d said. You laughed,
“I’d call it spiral.” Then you held it to your ear, concentrating, frowning. “Sssssh … Listen!”
“What is it?”
“I can hear the sea!” Now I laughed.
“That’s because it’s right behind you!” We escaped with our jeans sopping wet and sneakers squelching. We ran hand in hand, squealing in delight. Life was carefree. Life was fun.
I can’t forget!
This day, this month. Eons ago!
Huge waves retreating on a journey to distant shores, trailing glistening seaweed on golden sand, as it always had. Always on time, never late, rushing back faithfully to crash onto our rocks; ebbing and flowing, endlessly into our special corner of the big wide world.
It was how my life was then!
This is the last time I will come here to remember. These petals are the last I will scatter and watch as the winds toss them around, until they come to rest in the crags below; where the Kittiwake and Herring Gull feed their chicks. On our rocks! I will never shed tears over you again.
I have a new life now!
I thought you and me had something special. You told me that you loved me, more than anyone in the world. I simply believed you, without question. And still do. I also love you, too. Does love ever die? Love cannot die! We have an unbreakable bond. It was meant to be this way.
But now I see things differently, perhaps the way you saw them, those many years ago, on that day. Life’s twists and turns leave me battered and bruised. Lies; betrayal; abandonment. But I’ve weathered the storms, endured days and nights of darkness, when loneliness and hopelessness disturb the finely tuned balance between wellness and insanity.
I will never cry those tears of rage again, nor allow bitterness and resentment to swallow me up. I refuse to be consumed with self-pity! Others are not to be blamed for what you did to me. I have dropped my heavy burden;
I couldn’t have known what you were planning for that day. I couldn’t have guessed that you would return, without me, as the tide turned to wash up on another shore, far away.
I’m an older, wiser woman now. I’ve sampled life. I know too well what people can do to one another. I’m here today for the last time. I have come to tell you that I’ve forgiven you.
For leaving me!
They said that your body will never be found but I know differently. You’re down there somewhere, hiding amid the crevices of the rocks, where we used to play and laugh together, chasing the tiny black and white fish.
You said they would stay safe, there in their miniature ocean. That they wouldn’t be hunted and hurt by the big fish out there in the vast seas.
Do you remember saying that to me?
You wiped a tear drop from your cheek and laughed again.
Do you remember doing that?
I hear you laughing still, with every giant wave that rushes and crashes onto our rocky shores.
And now Daddy, that’s the way I’m always going to remember you!
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