Aug 5, 2011

Holding On, Letting Go

Every year on vacation with my family
It seems there is one perfect day
Where both my parents are able
To come to the beach and enjoy the day

There is such depth and meaning
For all their children and grandchildren
Knowing this is the place that we've shared
So many amazing memories with them

My mother sits in a chair
At the water's edge
And my father -- at 85 now
Makes his way down the beach

He grabs for my sister's hand and for mine
And I am taken back to the strength
Of feeling my tiny little girl's hand within his
I still feel it -- strong yet gentle in the way he grasps

As we reach the ocean he reaches for my boys
And they anchor him to stand in the waves
I cannot help but realize what an anchor in life he is
To them, and to all of us...the anchor that remains strong

Before you know it a large wave comes and my father lets go
And begins diving into the waves as he has as long as I've known him
How relished the hours of jumping waves with him and how his presence
Has made such a difference in my life...his strong, tender presence

My sisters guide my mother and other grandchildren are around
All of us filled with the joy of the moment--of sharing this together
Of my father's sparkling eyes, of my mother's full smile and laughter
All of us knowing that every moment is precious and this one especially

I think of all we have been through, of all we've been taught about family
About sacrifice, about respect, about dignity, about faith and mostly about love
And I sense how this moment is a jewel in a lifetime of love that will stay with each one
As we recall the holding on and the letting go and everything in between.