I had written about the familial significance of Surfside in a previous blog and now the week before vacating A48 at Surf Side, the trailer I was renting over the past winter just around the corner from where my parents former beach trailer sits, that has since been taken by my oldest brother and his family, a melancholy has surprised me.
Suddenly so much more poignant remembering it being the place where one day in May dad left for the hospital in Victoria never thinking – none of us thinking- he’d never be returning to the beach. Bowel cancer swiftly took him.
This is the place where we scattered his ashes way out past the sand bar that has since become full of coarse beach grass and pale bones of driftwood.
This is the place where his memorial bench is placed right about where the old fire pit used to be, 30 years ago, before the corporate changes at the park pushed their home back several feet from the beach.
My sister, mom and I
It’s where we held our last family reunion.This place too, the modest little home that they worked on together to make beautiful over 35 years. He didn’t have money to leave our mother, or big pensions from a hardworking life as a commercial painter to see her into old age , but he had this place, and it was hers, and it was enough.
Because it was where she felt her best, next to the ocean and under an open sky.
I think of my dad, 11 years gone. I remember him. A gentle, quite, and humble man with the patience of Job mom would say, and it was the truth. And I guess with my leaving here at the end of the month this unexpected rendered heart I feel, it’s as though I’m leaving him too somehow, leaving a life where he was, where they both were last together and happy.
I guess I’m saying good-by and it squeezes my heart.