A journal entry from my last day at the Cape.
It’s early Tuesday morning and I’m sitting alone on Mayflower Beach in the town of Dennis. Not a soul out this morning and I have the sand bar all to myself.
I have a hot, dark roast coffee (cream, two sugars) and my favorite cigar.
It’s somewhat overcast and a bit chilly keeping most of the beachcombers at home.
Looking out at the restless ocean, I study the dark, bruised clouds floating on the horizon and think, maybe it’s not so hard to believe that there’s a war going on thousands of miles away and another tropical storm has just turned into a Category 4 hurricane.
My eyes scan the breathtaking 360 degree panorama and I think of Steve Martin’s “Let’s Get Small” routine and smile because at the present time that’s exactly how I feel: small.
Sitting on a swath of sand this vast you can’t help but feel any other way.
It’s quiet here save for the briny ocean breeze and the rushing sound of the surf.
In my mind, I see my mother standing by the shore with her feet in the water.
She’s wearing a one piece, light blue and white checked bathing suit as she stares out at the foreboding horizon.
She always loved the beach while my father basically tolerated it.
I see my father sitting under his ever present umbrella, wrapped up in a bunch of towels to avoid the burning rays of some long forgotten summer sun.
His fair Irish skin will still turn an all too familiar lobster red anyway.
“Just say goodbye to her, Dad.”
The odd sound of my voice takes me by surprise.
I know this can never happen in real life but still a part of me wants somehow to “see” it.
I want closure.
I see my father cast away all his protective wrapping, stand up, and slowly walk to the shoreline.
There, he takes my mother’s hand in his as they stand side by side, silently watching the white-capped Cape Cod Bay.
After a short time, I see her slowly turn and smile at him.
She says, “It’s ok, Wally. I’ll always be here. You know that…but I have to go.”
He looks down at the sand and nods his head, silent.
She kisses him gently on the cheek and begins walking down the shore away from him.
He watches until her silhouette sinks into the distant grey mist.
It’s at that moment that raindrops begin dotting the pages of my journal and my written words all begin to run together.
It is time for me to say goodbye as well.