Salt Water


Salt water is nature’s remedy. When faced with difficult circumstances, I make a hasty retreat to the beach.

I don’t mean “retreat to the beach” as in “put on a bathing suit and sunscreen and relax on the sand.”

My version of going to the beach over the past few years has been more like “put on two sweatshirts, sit on a bench in the cold wind, and gulp in the salty air.”

It helps.

In some ways, we’ve had a tough few years. Dan’s mom died in 2010 from cancer. Dan’s dad died in 2012 after many years battling Parkinson’s disease. We found out that one of our daughter’s has a genetic condition that is coupled with medical issues. And now she’s due to have heart surgery next month.

But, despite all of this, the last few years have also been wonderful. I’ve given birth to two precious children, and we learned about a fascinating genetic condition that has brought a lot of love and community into our lives. We have also leaned on each other, which has made our marriage stronger. Over the past few years, we’ve come to the beach many times to have the salt water heal our wounds, and I’m thankful that we’re in this together.

I told Dan that, when I met him in 2002, I never could’ve imagined what life had in store for us. I was sitting at my desk with an eye on the door, when the “new guy” walked in. His boss started introducing him around the office, and I couldn’t wait to get to know him. Maybe it was the facial hair.

I thought back to myself at that time, caught up in the excitement of meeting the love of my life. Really, I didn’t have a care in the world, and it went on like that for quite some time.

In certain ways, I’m surprised at what life has brought our way. And in other ways, I feel as though we’re right where we need to be. These were our lessons to learn.

This week hasn’t been easy. I’ve had an imaginary little bird on my shoulder whispering “heart surgery heart surgery heart surgery” in my ear–constantly. It reminds me of the same little bird that whispered “Williams syndrome Williams syndrome Williams syndrome” after Emmy was born. I hadn’t heard from that bird for a while, and I’m sorry he’s back. He’s giving me a migraine.

So it felt good to go to the ocean and give my problems over to the salt water.

And as I walked down the windy boardwalk with Dan by my side, my migraine started to dissipate. I was comforted by the fact that when Emmy goes in for surgery, I’ll have a strong hand to hold.

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