I have always been somewhat of a positive person, but surviving something like that just reiterated to me just how short, how precious life is. So, I guess, to be able to survive from day to day, I believed a little more. I fought a little harder. I probably stood a little more than I should have for some things, stood up for people when I shouldn't have. I didn’t let go even when there was nothing left.
I spent a lengthy amount of time in my life at a place where I was the only one actually participating. There were other people in my life, but I was the only one trying. I was the one waking up every morning, trying to make a way, working, making sure the boys had clothes to wear, had food to eat, had a place to live. I had known for a very long time that I was alone in the situation, but it had gotten to the point that I didn't know how to "fix" it.
Taking the stand to leave was ginormous.
I wish, looking back now, that I could have recorded my train of thoughts at the time, over the months that it took, to know exactly what I was thinking, my thought processes on the whens and hows and the what ifs. I remember so little of the actual moments now. I remember fear, but more than that, I remember determination.
I remember looking at my boys. I remember looking at Anthony, sitting in what was my living room at the time, with tears in his eyes, and I remember feeling angry and thinking, “That is it!”
Things happened. Steps were taken. Pathways were traveled. Time passed. My surviving boys and I ended up here in Maine.
And here, we have access to an island, this little island of awesomeness!
On the drive down this past July to prepare the island for our upcoming wedding, we saw an eagle...an eagle in its natural habitat, just soaring against the blue sky. No one seemed quite as excited about it as me, but I was in total awe. I have seen eagles in an enclosed exhibit before, but never just saw one while driving down the road on a Sunday afternoon. It was amazing.
And then this past weekend, while standing on my favorite beach while searching for sand dollars, there was a seal! A seal...just hanging out in the water, like...oh, hey, how ya'll doing? Just floating by to say hi!
And there were these loons…loudly declaring their territory or something, wings all spread in a threatening pose. Usually, it's just the crabs with their claws held up in their silly sideways dance that makes me laugh in all of their menacing posture at us while we are there. Or the squirrels. Katie and I are certain, at times, that the squirrels follows us, chattering constantly. Get off our island, you silly humans.
The island is such a place of peace. It is such a place of tranquility.
All of the beaches have names, but I have yet to learn them. I know how to get to the one that I like. I take my backpack with me, with my notebook and my sparkly pen, and my Kindle and usually some type of loratadine as the bugs and mosquitoes near the house seem to love me.
You can find two different kinds of slipper shells, an Atlantic slipper shell and a white slipper shell, sand dollars, star fish, Atlantic jackknife clams, blue mussels, soft shell clams, actually a few types of clam shells, conch shells, periwinkles and dogwinkles, most of which I have not figured out how to identify yet, but I am working on it!
I know I have already said it, but it is just so peaceful there. Sometimes, there are great big sailboats that pass by, and sometimes there are only the smaller sailboats. The day we got married, there was a regatta! (though I admit I missed it...there was rain and then this thing called Elevenses)
There are lots of seagulls. I am sure there are different types of seagulls too, but unfortunately I don’t know the differences. And a wonderful reading tree that just looks like it is has limbs hanging down waiting to protect you while you lean against its trunk to get lost in a book. And a trail that is covered with tree limbs that reach over your head that connect to offer protection from the sun. And there are so many places with so many stories and so much history, but no matter my intentions, every time we go there, I seem to be called to the little beach with the shells and the sand dollars and that is where I want to be.