Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reaching for the Sun

My mom called today from her cruise. She's been gone since Thursday and today was the first day she was able to use her phone at a port. It has been strange not talking to her or seeing her for 5 days. They'll be gone 5 more before they return. When she called, she said, "Guess what the name of our Captain is."

"What?" I asked.


It made me smile.

I love messages from the Universe.

I've been reading the envelope my mom left with me in her absence: 10 Things I Remember About Rick... One for each day she is away. I just retrieved today's "thing" from the envelope.

Rick really did love the sun. Every year, he would lie in the sun in our backyard as soon as April hit. If it was 65 degrees, you could find him outside in his short shorts from the 80s, soaking up the rays. I can remember so many days sitting next to him outside in the sun. Sometimes I was wearing a sweatshirt and rolling my eyes at his sun-worshiping ways. Other times, I was writing a paper for grad school, setting up shop next to him for a couple of hours. Sometimes I was in my bikini, chatting incessantly to him or reading a book.

Rick could stay in the sun for hours...no book, no magazine... just him and the sun. And he loved the beach. Before we were married, we went to Florida to stay with Rick's brother and his family. Later, we went to Seaside Heights at the Jersey Shore. On our honeymoon, we relaxed in tropical St. Lucia. After that, we went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Then, we went to Ogunquit Beach in Maine...more than once. If there was a good view and a beach, we didn't need anything else.

It didn't matter where the beach was located, as long as the sun could find it.

When he wasn't sunning himself, Rick was in the water. The water in Maine was about 50 degrees during the times we were there...and my husband was out on a raft in the middle of the sea. He swam. He dove. He came back to me on the sand with his thumbs blue and numb from the cold, but he was smiling.

I loved him so much when he was out in the sun, enjoying life. I was so happy when he was happy.

Now that he's gone, he's not in pain anymore, so I try to imagine him happy and free. I picture a smile on his face and a peaceful look in his eyes. And when I do this... when I imagine him happiest...I always seem to find myself imagining him lying in the sun.


  1. What great memories. Thank you for sharing them with us. My mom was terminally ill and later passed when I was 18, and to this day, as hard as it is, I am just so glad she isn't in pain anymore. I remember the video you filmed with Rick on your channel and I remember his cute laugh and smart-ass answers. So sweet.

  2. Your strength is truly inspiring.

  3. My grandmother had a similar experience many years ago. Within the space of a year she lost both of her parents had her first child and lost her husband to cancer. She was a widow and the single mother of a 5-month-old at the age of 31. It was very hard for her but she pulled through. It took all of her inner strength and the help of those around her. I know that you will pull through this too Arielle, as you are very strong.

  4. How beautiful and meaningful that in the middle of the sea, with the sun shining, Rick was able to let you know it's ok.

  5. What a beautiful thing for your Mom to have done for you. XoX


Help me feel less alone.