A friend of my late grandfather sent my mom this fantastic photo over the winter, and I’ve kept it by my dressing table ever since. I can’t get over how it captures the true essence of my mom at such a young age. She is the child on the left, playing with her mom and brother on the beach where they vacationed every summer. While my beloved Uncle Mark is a bit timid and scared of the water (I believe the word my mom used was “weenie”), my mom is eating every second up. The moment she became an adult she packed up her things and moved to that small beach town where she had no place to live and knew absolutely no one. She moved in the winter time, and jobs were scarce, so she lived off of saltines in a closet apartment where she had no telephone and couldn’t afford heat. She always says the beach was calling her name.

Nearly forty years later, her and my father still live walking distance from the water, and she still sneaks out of work to spend a few precious hours laying out in the sun with her toes in the sand. I can always tell when she’s been on the beach because she’ll call with a childlike excitement in her voice, squealing “Guess where I AM?!?” and I know that she’s in her sanctuary. She always tells me that if she ever gets old and out of it, I should just wheel her to the dunes and let her stay for a while, and she will be in peace. She will be back to the same love for the beach that’s in her voice now and on her 9-year old face in this picture taken many years ago.

Happy Mother’s Day mom. May you always have sand beneath your toes. xo

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