It wasn't a perfect beach day, but it was a beach day. And to Domenick, any day spent on the beach was a perfect beach day.
Dom didn't get to see the beach this year, except in the eyes and sounds and smells of those of us around him. It seems when someone loses that one thing, the one thing they love beyond all else, they lose their will to continue. It happened with my mother, as she descended into blindness, and it happened to Dom when he could no longer get to the beach.
I first met Dom, appropriately, on Pompano Beach in Manasquan. In those years, the early years, Dom would see us approach and jump up to meet us; to help us carry our paraphanelia onto the beach. He'd be sitting right next to the bulkhead; his cooler hanging on it. Often there'd be surprises hidden in his cooler....like Mike's mom's purse, Domenick's cooler was a secret place of hidden treasures. Eggplant sandwiches...tomatoes from his garden....Wawa lemonade. And what he had, he shared. Especially if he liked you. Then, he'd make your favorites. Like stuffed olives!
As the years flew by, and our lives changed, Dom's role in our lives changed as well. When David arrived home from Korea, he became Beach Grandpa, Grandpa Dom, and the love affair between David and Dom began. In our family, we aren't bound by blood, and no Grandpa and Grandson could have loved each other more than David and GPa Dom. We'd get to the beach, and GPa would bound up to meet us. Sometimes to carry the chairs....more often to get David. Perhaps Dom's heart went a little bad watching as David grew fearless of the waves, each year venturing further and further.
Somehow, things changed over these past few years. Little changes at first. Dom stopped going into the water...one or the other of the beach friends would help him on and off the beach...he couldn't get onto Pompano any longer, but instead sat at the inlet...then last year....he couldn't get onto the beach at all, but would sit in the gazebo at the inlet and enjoy the beach that way. This year, he wasn't able to get to the gazebo.
Yesterday, wasn't a perfect beach day, but it was a day on the beach, and as everyone knows, any day spent on the beach is a perfect beach day.
Domenick. We love you. We miss you. But we know, where you are, you're enjoying a string of perfect beach days. Rest peacefully, dear friend.
Thank you for the gift of you in our lives.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Every year thereafter, and every special event, my birthday, Valentine's day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, there'd be two cards waiting; one from David, and always, received on the same day, the one from my dad.
Dad missed Mother's Day this year. He wasn't well enough to get out for cards. He called to wish me well. And the only card from David was the one on the kitchen table.
Yesterday, I went to the mailbox, and there were two cards waiting for Michael....one from David and one from my Dad.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's in my life, but especially to MY Dad.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 1999. The call came. You were to arrive, in Philadelphia in one week. One week! One week and I'd hold my beautiful boy.
Tuesday, May 11...It was a day unremarkable to most. But to me, it was Mother's Day.
Your plane was scheduled to arrive at 7:17, PM. You remember, David, why I will always remember that exact time? I told you of it this morning...your connection to my father, to your grandfather.
I'd waited so long, yet those last few minutes, those last seconds felt interminable.
Today, David, is a day, always will be a day, wrought with emotion. As I waited on this side of the globe, another woman gave me the greatest gift of my life. The gift of you. I take time today to honor her, to revere her, as I do throughout the year.
But mostly, David, today is about you, and how you turned Daddy and I into a family. Forever. I love you two times.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
About a month or so ago, Mike called me at work and asked me if I wanted to go away for our anniversary. Our 16th anniversary. We'd gotten what I'd have considered junk mail. An invitation from several Atlantic City hotels to come and stay at a very reduced rate. Mike said that the night of our anniversary would be free; just room tax.
Since he was willing to make all the arrangements, I went along with it. He booked the room at Bally's and made dinner reservations at Ruth's Chris. My only job, and it was a big one, was to find overnight babysitting, a task made even more challenging because our anniversary was on a Thursday, a school night.
My neighbor, and bff, Karen, said that if I couldn't find anyone else, she'd stay at our house and get David on the bus Friday morning, but as it turned out, my niece (Jack's daughter) Jessica and her boyfriend Mike came down, took David out to dinner, stayed the night, and got him on the bus in the morning.
We had a delightful night. Dinner was excellent. We had a beautiful corner room. Just a really nice night. Next morning we got up, bought a couple treats for David, and headed home.
When we got home, Mike called our friend Mindy. She and her husband, also Mike, got married the same weekend as us, at the same place as us, the year after us. In the course of their conversation, Mike wished her a Happy Anniversary, tomorrow. "Silly", she said, "our anniversary was yesterday. Yours is tomorrow". Mike went into the dining room, where our Ketubah is hanging, and sure enough, our anniversary is the 13th, not the 11th.
Oh, well. The weather was better on the 11th anyway!