We filled the car to the brim with swimsuits and books and groceries and made the pilgrimage to the beach house my family has been visiting for over 20 years. The porch is one of my favorite places to be, and even though it was under construction, we managed to enjoy it.
There is no place in the world where I am 13 and 17 and 21 and 26 and almost 34 like the beach house. I stayed in that room with a college friend and that room on the youth group trip and that room with Mike. I had long hair and short hair and the beach house got different carpet. There was the time we stayed up doing a puzzle and the time we stayed up playing poker and that one epic game of Settlers of Catan that lasted until 2am. I think we are all haunted a little bit by the ghosts of who we were and the ghosts of people who were there with us. It is a healing, restorative week, but it is hard in its own way, to be reminded again of who we are missing.
But there is also a new joy in sharing it with Atticus. We dug holes and built castles and found seashells just like my mom and my dad and my aunt and my grandmother used to do with me. We watched the planes pull advertisements behind them just like they did 20 years ago. Mike played ping pong with Atticus and my brother tried to tempt him into the ocean and we all tracked sand all over the floor.
There is a special kind of missing people that happens on vacation. There is also a feeling that the circle is complete. We did all those things with Atticus because that’s what we do at the beach, again and one more time. I get to see things through Atticus’s eyes and all those ages of myself when I am there, and that is what is saving my life this week. What is saving your life this week?