I have so many fond memories of Grandma bringing us to Hampton beach as kids. Just the girls. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. An annual summer tradition.
When she passed away 10 years ago, we kept up the tradition in her memory. My Mom, sister and I, my aunt and her daughter. Just the girls. Rain or shine. Hot or cold.
Over the years our group expanded. Sometimes more cousins. Sometimes friends. And then there are the great grandchildren (yes, boys allowed!). She never had a Hampton trip with her great grandchildren but they will grow up knowing Hampton’s beach day is in loving memory.
And not just in Grandma’s memory anymore…
Last year was our largest Hampton trip yet. My Mom and her sister, my sister and I, 4 cousins, 4 great grand kids and 1 on the way. It was another year in memory of Grandma.
We spent the morning on the beach and then packed up as the clouds rolled in. We changed out of our wet, sandy clothes, had some lunch and made our way up to Grandma’s favorite game: roller bingo.
As the kids collected their prizes we took a group picture.
And then my cousin took a random toilet picture as a joke. A blue streak. Maybe her finger just brushed the lens? Another picture and another streak. Maybe the lighting? A third picture and a third streak. She said someone’s with us. We all agreed it was likely Grandma. A fourth picture and it was gone.
We said “hi.” We joked. We reminisced. We split up for a bathroom run…almost 7 months pregnant and a few small kids makes for frequent trips!
When I came out of the bathroom everyone had gathered and everyone was in tears. One phone call. Grandpa had a heart attack and EMTs were on the way to the hospital trying to resuscitate him.
It’s all a blur. We selected drivers. We gathered all 12 of us into 3 cars. And we flew home in torrential rain. In our heart of hearts we knew he was gone.
The news came not even 10 minutes after our streaked pictures. We like to believe that maybe it wasn’t just Grandma saying hi but also Grandpa saying bye. A glimpse from above, a connection in time.
So this year our trandition continued. It was bittersweet for me. It was joyful to bring J up to Hampton for the first time.
It was nice to share the day with my Mom: the start of another Grandma bringing her daughter and grandchild to the beach each summer. New memories to be made and new traditions to start.
Yet it was heavy and sad as we reflected on the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing. A reminder that he never met my son, the 9th great grandchild he couldn’t wait to meet. His baby’s baby having a baby!
But it was a good day. We had just enough sun to know our day was blessed and just enough rain to know heaven shed some tears. A kiss from above and a reminder that we will forever honor their memory…