A Walk Along the Beach

27 Sep

We did not have time to take one last walk along the beach.

I tried to explain this to my three children. We had to shower and get dressed, I told them. Pack our things, load the car, eat breakfast. And get to the church — preferably on time. I was already operating in high-efficiency mode. They were not.

My husband’s employer sent him to the Oregon coast this past weekend to speak at the Florence Church of the Nazarene on Sunday morning. The kids and I went along to keep him company and to see the ocean. Now, the Oregon coast is nothing less than spectacular, but ten hours is a long time to ride in the car in order to see it. So we wanted to make the most of it in the short time we were there. As soon as we checked into our hotel room on Saturday, we headed to the beach.  We spent the day exploring the shore, playing in the sand, collecting seashells, getting our feet wet and chasing seagulls. It was a really great day.

On Sunday morning I drove my husband to the church at eight o’clock for the first church service, and then returned to the hotel to get the kids and myself ready in time for the second service. But when I got back to the hotel room, the kids were much more interested in taking one last walk along the beach.

I had a choice to make. Before breast cancer, I know what that choice would have been. But now I seem to have a different perspective on life. Cancer can do that to you. The truth is – cancer has made choices like this one a whole lot easier for me to make. Practical, responsible and logical choices are now often replaced with choices that are more meaningful, fun and memorable.

So we grabbed our sweatshirts and my children and I walked out toward the ocean. The powerful waves roared against the shore, leaving chunks of driftwood at our feet. Rain mixed with salty sea spray covered our faces. A fat seagull the size of a goose screeched overhead. Sand rose up between our toes. The misty fog swirled around us.

It was a most awesome walk and one of the very best parts of our trip.

And you know what? A year from now, my children will not remember whether or not their mother got them to the church on time. But I’m pretty sure they will remember that she took a walk with them in the rain along the misty Oregon coast.


4 Responses to “A Walk Along the Beach”

  1. Fred Wind September 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Jill, once again, a wonderful piece of writing! You create memorable scenes and leave us contemplating truths of life WITHOUT being preachy! I like that very much! Keep writing!

  2. Heidi Tracht September 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm #


  3. sandy alexander September 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    I enjoyed this, Jill. I’m glad you were able to make the trip.

  4. jebaire7 October 4, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    Beautiful Jill. What a wonderful reflection on the true meaning of our days.

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