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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 29: The ocean

Updated: Sep 18, 2018


Linda, Sev, and I are headed to the ocean today. Mads is back in Hillsboro muscling through the dual gremlins of grief and work. Today, we found a slip of time to escape, to hear and smell the ocean and surround the images that have been so dominant these days. We hope to see you in Yachats when we visit the state park marine garden. It was where we went on the photo shoot last Thanksgiving that has become a metaphor for your life with us.

That trip remains the high water mark of family gatherings. The holiday was secure in traditions of cooking and eating, yours and Mads’ top of list activities along with football: endless games of football with rivalries and of course, Macey’s Thanksgivings Day Parade. Yachats was also secure in being close to Rogue brewery, your favorite beer, reflected in the scores and scores of bottles you collected and proudly displayed on shelves in the condo. Mads described how the two of you even dusted them to keep them brilliantly show cased. The Oregon coast was also secure in its weather at that time of the year. Rain with a chance of rain occasionally blistered by storms of rain to be delivered with strong wind forcing the rain to pelt horizontally from the sky. It was the perfect holiday, secure in place and indoors: food, beer, football.

Then something strange happened. Coming back from the Rogue brewery on Thanksgiving Saturday afternoon, the sun came out in such glory to set unlike any other sunset ever experienced. It rivaled the perfect green flash, that momentary splash of green when the sun sets and joins the horizon. I’ve seen this directly once but it’s illusive. On this Saturday, something equally illusive happened. The evening sun cast its beams of light and warmth. As the day became late afternoon, the rays were golden, with a long reach on everything along the coast.

Photographers look for this illusive splay of lighting at the end of the day and I remember both of us scrambling for our cameras and heading out to the beach. Every shot was perfect, irrespective of view. Everything was embraced with long golden rays. The sand sparkled and no matter the composition, the pictures were set: Murphy, Mads, families, beach, trees, waves, surf, walking, standing, driftwood, sand, rainbows. When the sun finally set, we were complete. I so dearly wish the sun setting on your life makes us complete.

That Thanksgiving Sunday was almost as illusive. Another day of sun, but now brilliantly blue with clouds so white and wispy that they played patterns with the sun as light passed to earth. The beach was classic rock meeting sand to force the waves out of their gentle and rhythmic roll into violent crashes that place the ocean into a dance of broken spray varying only in density and reach to the shore. This crazy quilt of water spray is equally as powerful as the long golden, gentle reach from yesterday’s sunset. This time it was sprays, churns, family, rocks, sprays in sequence as the ocean collected its waves and thrust them onto the shore. We so dearly wish this violent thrust of your death also leaves us with the collection of your life.

So we plan to head to the ocean and hope to see you there.

We love you so much.


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