So........ We just got home a few days ago from our trip to the Outer Banks and it was amazing.
Nothing gets you to slow down quite the way an ocean view does. However I will say that super markets are the devil and one packed to the brim with tourists and vacationers is the absolute worst.
Packed super markets aside, our trip was lovely, and beautiful with many memories captured. We had the privilege of going for an entire week with my mother in law, and I mean that in the most sincere way without any *eye roll* sarcasm "my mother in law" tone. My M.I.L. is pretty kick @ss.
So to continue, the outer banks were one of her and my late father in law's favorite places. My father in law loved fishing the way I love chocolate cake, which you know is a serious love. Whooooo and that man could fish..... And fish....... And fish........ For hours. This I know as fact through experience and stories. The only thing he loved more than fishing was his wife, who had to deal with his insane love for fishing.
This trip was for her. Her closure. Her peace. Her memories. And she invited us bunch of crazies, why I do not know, because again, we are crazy and sometimes chaotic, and cranky.
The entire trip was a fine balance between beach lounging, shopping, and food, at least I think so. Then on the last full day my mother in law and husband were able to find a quiet moment to release some of my father in law's ashes off the pier so that he may be in the ocean free to roam, where-ever the tide takes him, in search of his mermaids (he once hooked a girl and asked my mother in law if he could keep said mermaid. She made him throw her back.). True story and always funny.
Later that evening we were graced with this huge rainbow over the ocean peeking out from a storm, you could make out so much of the ark, and there was this white beam of sunlight pointing from the ocean to the rainbow.
I like to think that was him telling my mother in law that he was happy and loves her.
There were so many moments where I just kind of stopped and felt the intensity of what this trip meant to my mother in law and to us as well. There was something so touching to watch my husband and kids wearing papa's hat throughout our various day trips. It was beautiful to think he was there in some form with us.
At one point a man walking up the stairs from the beach prompted Zo to yell "PAPA! There's my papa!". It wasn't though. My heart took a hit on that one thinking back to the moments where she would beg to see him and ask where he was after his passing. Even Tom was taken aback and he isn't fazed by much.
That was hard. As someone who grew up not fully understanding the family dynamic, my father in law was the kind of man you envision being the grandfather to your children. He was the papa who gave our 2 year old so much ice cream that he later came home and puked, which caused us to go nearly hysterical before picking up the phone and finding out that yes, papa, gave a child an adult sized bowl of ice cream. He hid treats in his shirt pocket. He once gifted our son with a stuffed fair monkey that was so HUGE I just stared at him like he was crazy, because where the hell was I going to stick that thing?! He rocked and soothed our banshee baby like no one's business. He could get her to sleep within minutes, something I still haven't mastered. He was so calm but he had the most perverted jokes, that made you laugh and blush at the same time. You always felt safe with him around. He really was just an all around awesome person. I really wish my babies had more time with him as their grandfather. That we all had more time with him.
I am so grateful that amidst the sadness there were so many beautiful moments captured on this vacation.That even through loss we can go forward and leave a little of him in his favorite places.
Okay, now that I got way too sappy, how about some pictures while I ugly cry.
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