We talked about it. We cried about it. We thought about it. In the end, though, we just couldn’t do it.

Everything about the last 2 weeks at the beach reminded me of you. The first week I was alone and lonely. The first week was to have been our annual mother-daughter beach week. Instead of laughing with you, going on adventures with you or just sitting on the beach with you, I spent much of the week in seclusion. Oh, I did go out for long walks and talks with God. I met some very nice people in the condo in which we stayed last year. They just happened to be Clemson fans and they were friends of someone that I have known forever and went through grades 1-12 with. They were from Spartanburg; her maiden name was TAYLOR and I’m sure that if we had continued to delve into our past, we would have probably learned that we were related. Most of the time though, I stayed in the condo; some days I didn’t even get dressed. Some days it took too much effort to do more than brush my teeth. I tried to read but couldn’t concentrate. I tried to watch TV but nothing interested me. Most of the time I just sat and remembered and cried. I remembered all of the wonderful memories that we had made throughout your life and I cried because no more memories with you will be made. I cried because I miss you so much. I cried because nothng is the same now.

When the rest of the family arrived, we went about with our usual daily beach routines but it wasn’t the same. We didn’t hear your laughter over the silliest things. We didn’t see your beautiful smile. No one rushed out to be on the beach by 8 a.m like you always did. We went to your favorite restaurants on Sullivan’s Island and I held it together until the hostess at Sullivan’s was going to seat us at the same table that we sat last year. That’s when I fell apart. I couldn’t help it. All of those memories came rushing back and I was overwhelmed with sadness. Sweet Donna, whose family owns the restaurant, saw this and moved us to another table and she was so apologetic. By the way, she is from Woodruff. Her dad ran a drive-in restaurant in Woodruff. I remember it well. We reminisced about some of the people we both knew and that was nice but she knew that this was a difficult time for us and she checked on us frequently.

You would have laughed until you hurt when Wesley started singing along with the Beatles. You know Robert’s love of music…well he is passing that on to Wesley. I so wish you could have seen him singing Yellow Submarine! It was hilarious! We will not be at all surprised when Wesley starts singing Zeppelin or CCR, Buffett and of course Pink Floyd. Can’t you just see him standing in the boat with his daddy, his papa and his Uncle Wes singing “Comfortably Numb”?
It seems that Wesley is often asked what he would like to listen to on the way to school or at mealtime and he will say “the Beatles” or “CCR” or other groups. I just know that you would cherish every minute of this with the nephew that you loved so much.

My heart ached for your sweet Doug. He looked lost without you. He was sad and lonely as we all were. We love him so much and he knows that he is a permanent part of this family. We hurt for Doug because we can’t “fix it and make it better” as you used to say when you were little. How I wish that I could fix it. All we can do is love him and be there for him. He knows that all he has to do is call if he needs something and we will be on the road to Charleston. I know he knows this because I told him…several times. You know me…🙂

Your picture was on the entertainment center in the living room so we could all see you when we were in there. Our urn containing some of your ashes was there. The comfort cross that we were given in the hospital was there as was your thumbprint pendant which hangs on the Willow Tree “Sunshine” girl that Mindy gave me for Christmas. I doubt that she knew that Sunshine was one of your nicknames and that we sang “You are my sunshine” to you when you were little. The burgundy velvet bag was also there beside your picture but we couldn’t do it. None of us were ready to let go. None of us could leave you down there. We cried, we talked about it but we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t scatter your ashes, not just yet or as Doug said, maybe never. We were not ready and our hearts simply would not allow it.