Desperate, like the last day of vacation

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Yesterday I woke up with a sense of desperation. I dreaded Friday all week. Occasionally throughout our fun filled week at the beach, I would think about it, become anxious, and then force myself back into the moment.

To me, the last full day of vacation has always felt desperate. There are things to accomplish. I want to make sure we squeeze all of our week long experience back into that one final day. So, I woke up earlier than usual and walked down to the beach alone. I looked out across the water and breathed deep – waiting for revelation; One final moment of solitude when I’d be given an answer about where my life is headed. Mostly I just felt the coolness of the morning seabreeze and the sea itself rolling over my feet. I tried to pray, but I kept peeking at the water. I kept glancing down the shoreline imagining old post cards. I remembered what I’d heard one time about God being in the water and in the breeze, and I stopped trying so hard.

I walked back to the house and gently – accidentally – woke everyone up. We went to the beach earlier than normal. We swam, took a kayak into deep water, dug holes, built castles, and searched for shells underwater. I sat in the sand letting it cover me, appreciating it’s coarseness.

We went to the pool and did eveything that we’d learned was fun there. Max, you jumped in from the side and touched the bottom. Kate, you swam with your face in the water. And Izzy, you practiced your gymnastics routines underwater.

After lunch we did it all over again. Hours at the beach. Hours at the pool. Everyone exhausted. Everyone sunburnt one last time.

By 5:00pm I was alone with my feet in the water again. That desperate feeling somehow still clinging to my spirit. The week was over. It was a great vacation and I’m not sure we could have squeezed in any more fun than we did. I went underwater and closed my eyes tight wondering one last time about life and what it holds for us down the road. I let it wash over me. I walked back to the house with Papaw.

We went and had frozen custard and shaved ice at Seaside as the sunset.

I think life can be like the last day of vacation sometimes. We seek rest. We find ways to relax. But in the end we’re desperate for one final moment. Rest, relax, but seize those moments when you can.

I’ll send you kids more pictures and tell you more stories soon. We’re driving home to Tennessee soon, so I need to wake you up for one final trip down to the beach. One final dip of our feet in the water  and one final breeze across our faces – until we come back in August.


– Daddy