“Every time I slip into the ocean it’s like going home. – Sylvia Earle”
Ever since I was a little girl there has always been something about the ocean that has drawn me to it. There is just something about the mystery of it, that makes it so beautiful. The feel of the sand between your toes, the smell of the cool salty air, and the sounds of the waves crashing all around has a way of calming me on even the most anxious of days. It has been a place where many family memories have been made, laughs have been heard, tears have been shed, and people have been remembered. Over this past year the true significance to the ocean has revealed itself to me and has been my calm place, my hiding place, and my safe place in the times I’ve needed it most.
Audrey was almost two months old when we made our way to the beach for the first time. It was so beautiful out and I spent most of the day snuggling with her on the sand while the girls splashed in the water around us. Right before we were getting ready to leave, the water started to come up over the hot sand and it was so warm. With my love for the ocean and capturing memories…. I placed Audreys teeny tiny feet into the ocean. Little did I know that, that one spur of the moment act would be a memory I would cherish the most.
The beach was the first public outing we made as a family shortly after her death. For the kids it was to return some normalcy back to their forever changed lives… but to us it was a way to just sit in the presence of our daughter. As I walked along the shoreline, the moment the ocean came up over my feet I felt like we were in the same place. Like my feet were in the exact same waters that hers had been just a few weeks before. It was one of the most peaceful moments in my life, and for the first time in weeks I could breathe.
The ocean reminds me so much of my life. It is filled with so much wonder and beauty, but sometimes it is during the most biggest storms and roughest of seas that you can see its full potential.
Most importantly it reminds me of God. It is a constant. It is bigger than me and never ending. I am comforted in the fact that no matter how far I run from it, that I can always run back. That no matter where I am in this world if I run long enough and far enough my feet will eventually reach the water.
The ocean will always remind me of Audrey, and for as long as I live as soon as the water comes up over my toes I will remember that her feet were in the same ocean. That just like God, it is my little piece of Heaven on earth that will forever connect me to her.