Plain and simple, you cannot recreate the past. No matter what you do, the elements, the timing, the people, and the place is always evolving and changing.
My beach trips in my brain have been an attempt to recreate a past that is no longer. To recreate the past would involve a few key things: Kevin, his rod and reel, me, my rod and reel, and our jeep on Assateague Island with beautiful weather. There are plenty of things missing out of the equation.
I think that I felt as long as I was at the beach I could re-create something again. I could experience the same emotional pull to beautiful Berlin, Maryland that I always felt when Kevin and I were vacationing for a weekend. As long as I was there, or headed there, or planning to head there, the dream wouldn’t die. The dream of us one day relocating there, of opening up a little sandwich shop for the tourists that served coffee for the locals, and spending our evenings on the coastline fishing away and basking in one another’s love.
So much of this has changed, and while I can acknowledge a once great dream, to try and achieve this dream without Kevin would be unfulfilling. This weekend I realized this.
It was the first weekend I went to the beach this summer and DIDN’T go to Assateague. I went camping at Pocomoke River with my family, and instead we journeyed to Chincoteague, and I went without my fishing equipment. It was freeing, liberating, but also lonely despite being in the presence of my wondering siblings and parents and their significant others.
My quest to recreate something that will never be has been draining. But while it has been that, I think it’s been healing to travel there despite Kevin not being with me. To honor his memory in doing that. While I plan to never give up my love of the beach, the joy of surf fishing (despite not catching 1 darned fish the whole year!), and the great and deep memory and feel of Kevin’s presence there, life has changed, and I must move forward.
I cannot change the past, I cannot recreate it, and I can’t bring something to the future that isn’t there. But I can honor the past, I can create new memories that not only give dignity the life I once had, but also give hope to the life ahead of me.
The large wave is passing yet again, but it continues to lap and cause my eyes to tear. But as I venture ahead, starting school in just two weeks, adjusting to the new schedules and commitments at work, and making my home my HOME, I can’t help but think that I am blessed.
I had a great love, something so many never receive in their lifetime. I dream unending and want to continue doing so without hesitation. I have a whole lifetime ahead of me to create change for other Sarcoma patients, and hope for other young widows. While at just 25 I sometimes feel as if I have already lived a lifetime, as I have, I also want to keep in perspective that at 25 most people are just starting their lives. So, despite already having lived 1 life, I can start with the rest of the 20 somethings and live another new life. One with lessons learned, wisdom gained, and a heart that knows what true love is like.