Oakwater Cove, Englewood Beach, Florida.
I miss Senior so much here. It is his condo, his beach, his pool, his history. It’s hard to not feel his loss in a very real way, but to also feel his presence in a very real way.
We arrived late, so we went to bed without noticing that every single thing in the condo shouts about his life. His St. Jude ball cap on the hook, his bath scale that he used daily to monitor and maintain his health, his nail clippers, his little yellow pads of paper, and his walking stick he used to prevent him from getting old and using a cane.There are physical, practical things everywhere but greater still are the things that fill the space.
The trip to Walmart brought on tears because I didn’t need to buy the sweets that he liked. The peanuts reminded me of the time he took us to see the Scrub Jays and he called them in with peanuts and they ate out of his hand. I put on sunscreen and hear him retelling the story of the time Larry Curtis applied sunscreen by just slapping a handful over his shoulder and it protected a perfect hand shape there, amazed at the efficacy of this new fangled high powered sunscreen that works. My husband paddles a kayak out on the gulf and I can almost see Senior swimming alongside him. He loved to swim in this gulf. His straw hat, his deep tan, his ugly toenails, I miss it all. People pass me by as they walk the beach and I let them pass without so much as a glance and I know he would’ve greeted them and shared with them the story of the shark’s tooth he found while walking the beach. “I just saw something black and I gave it a toe flick and there it was! This big Shark’s tooth.” He would find out where they were from and how long they’ve known about this Florida hamlet he called his second home.Instead of greeting people, I sit here with my thoughts and my memories sad that we couldn’t keep making them, but absolutely grateful for each one we did!Sandcastles, trips to the Rookery, Dairy Queen, Sandflea races, Pelican Pete’s, Sundial on the Beach, word games, the swimming pool, digging for Coquinas, Board games, cocktails, the Dome flea market, and many sunsets, each one more beautiful than the one before. I miss them all. There’s now a beautiful flowering Bougainvillea plant where I wish his smile was. This plant will greet those he no longer can. It’s a tribute to him and his life well-lived. Thank you Oakwater Cove, Englewood Beach, Florida for remembering. A life well lived makes for a man worth missing.