The ocean – with its crashing waves and mournful fog horn; and the quiet harbor, where we snuggled together on the porch of our little rental cottage, cradling our early morning brew, coffee for me, cocoa for her – is irresistible.
So was she.
It was the whole cross-the-crowded-room first glimpse that became a second glance that morphed quickly into a settled gaze which became admittedly a failed attempt to not stare.
“Would you like to go bowling?”
She said ‘yes’.
“Would you marry me?”
She said yes to that too, although it took the next two years to work up my courage to ask.
We picked out her ring. We agreed that if her choice was still there the next day then the significant outlay of cash was meant to be. Turns out the jewelry shop was just closing and we returned before it opened the next morning so I guess it was.
This morning (so, so quickly, like the ocean breakers that roll endlessly to the shore do 50 years roll by) in the fog of waking up, somewhere between dreams and reality, I held her hand. Her touch was as real as it was that day when, setting our cups aside, I reached over and took her hand, our ring fingers intertwined, in what would be, as it turned out, our last trip to our cottage by the sea.
She was in the late stages of her battle with cancer. And her oncologist had recommended that if there was a favorite place we were prone to visit, now would be the time.
But this morning, her hand wasn’t there.
And I sip my early morning coffee alone.
And I remember. Oh, how I remember, and am so very, very thankful, for that very, very special day, when she said ‘yes’.