It was brought to my attention that all twelve family members were not here in Beaverton when my wife passed away. Those sons, daughters-in-law and grandkids that were here to say their goodbye’s to grandma had some degree of closure. However, there are others that didn’t get to give their hugs and final kisses. So this summer the whole gang met here in the Portland area and we had a fantastic memory sharing time at Cannon Beach on the coast.
We all walked along the beach remembering and reminiscing. This was my wife’s and my favorite place to walk and talk and pick up shells and sand dollars. Our dog always got to run in the ocean and then roll in the sand. The ride home in the car wasn’t the greatest but that’s what made our outings special. The two of us would always end our beach day with a wonderful lunch at the Wayfarer Restaurant and on occasion my sweetie would find time to do a little shopping in her favorite boutique.
When the twelve of us got a good distance down the beach—at our “turn around” spot we stopped and gathered around and had a good session of sharing and a few meaningful prayers were said. Each person told of past memories that brought laughter and some tears. One of our grandkids had bought five large balloons filled with helium—all tied together—and when the stories and remembrances were winding down we all held onto the string and counted down…three…two…one… and we all let go and said our goodbyes to Hallie as the balloons climbed skyward and out of sight. As one of our sons said “I’ll bet mom is up there smiling down on her family.” (She loved purple balloons). It was indeed an emotional closure for our entire family. Standing there next to the ocean we all felt God’s power and His love.
After a wonderful lunch and a visit to the Sand Piper gift shop we headed home—tired but with happy hearts and a feeling that Hallie was there is spirit with the rest of us—happy and proud of her family.
P.S. I have to share with you one of my favorite sayings written by Hilary Stanton Zunin:
“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief—but the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”