But the monkeys in the helicopter still sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". (If you've been to our shore, you know what I'm talking about!) Arielle and Liana still want to play Goofy Golf and we still drive the surrey while the morning sunlight glints off the ocean--although now we need the big surrey and all four of us can power it. The girls ride the carousel again. Arielle says she did it for me. Fred and I watch and wave at them as they go around, like we've always done. This is our special place. We have so many memories of our precious daughters here. Everything we see before us has a story of times past. Good memories. There is nothing sad anywhere in this place.
I notice big waves are breaking far from the shore. Just before they crash, they shimmer in a dazzling light. In the deep, God shines even brighter. He is there when life is uncertain. He is there in the despair of our days. And today, he gives us all this beauty! A walk with my beloved family gathering seashells while the ocean roars alongside us.
A very old woman is adrift in an inner tube. She comes in with the waves and then goes back out to sea. She appears to be asleep, her eyes closed, and she is slumped over with her head on her chest. Her hands hang limply, trailing through the water. We walk past her, but I keep looking back. Is she okay? Now she is bobbing up and down where the waves are breaking so far out. There are no lifeguards here. Another wave comes in and she is back on the sand, still asleep. I point her out to Fred and he walks back and calls out to her. Her eyes open and her arms began to gently paddle the water. The waves retreat and she goes back out to the deep. I'm amazed at her lack of fear! Imagine sleeping on the ocean while you float in a tube! She is an experienced life live-er. I so admire her courage.
We walk on, leaving her behind. I let go of the worry and enjoy the hours we have left beside the sea. A verse comes to mind, one of my favorites:
"Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10) Surely he will. He is our God. He loves us.