Posted by: Kathy | September 6, 2011

End of Summer

Tomorrow school officially starts for my kids. Before this happens, I want to share a memory of my daughter’s first day at the beach, which also happened to be my mom’s last. My mom was never much of a beach person, but we would all pile into the car for a family trip to Point Pleasant Beach each summer, usually in August. We’d spend the day digging in the sand for shells and walking on the boardwalk for food and souvenirs. Sometimes my husband, son, and father would go into the water, but the waves were always rough.

Nikki playing at the beach (2008)

On August 27, 2008, we all piled into our minivan and headed for Point Pleasant Beach. At age 2, it was Nikki’s first time at the beach. I had no idea how she’d react, especially to being surrounded by sand. Fortunately, I didn’t have much to worry about, since Nikki immediately loved the beach and digging in the sand to look for shells. She collected enough shells to fill a small pink bucket with white flowers, which she took home as a memory of that day.

Around mid-day the kids were complaining that they were hungry, so we went to get something to eat at a food stand right off the beach. After lunch, we decided to take a walk along the boardwalk. Matt and Tony went through a fun house and played a few games. We looked at the houses lining the boardwalk with a beautiful view of the water. It was nice and relaxing, with a moderate breeze coming off the water to break through the summer heat. Nikki didn’t mind walking and had just one request. She had to hold her grandmom’s hand.  She actually refused to hold anyone else’s hand. And so up and down the boardwalk we went, with Nikki holding tightly to her grandmother’s hand.

Nikki holding Grandmom's as they stroll on the boardwalk

By the end of the day, we were all tired, a little sunburned, and covered with sand. But we had fun and Nikki loved playing in the sand. Every time we’d stop to re-adjust all the stuff we were carrying, Nikki would sit down and start digging again. Getting her off the beach was hard, and it seemed like we brought home half the beach with us based on the amount of sand that ended up in the van.

Nikki skippin' on the boardwalk with Grandmom

It was a good day, another “first” my mom got to share with one of her grandkids. Now I need to find that little pink bucket filled with tiny seashells. A lasting memory of our beach day, along with a few pictures.

The end of a wonderful day


  1. You are more than welcome, Kathy! You know you are the very same to me too. A truly wonderful friend! Love you! Claudia

  2. Thanks Claudia. You are such a dear friend. Always there. Always understanding. Always supportive. Love you. ~ Kathy

  3. Beautifully written post, Kathy. I know through you and these pictures you will give wonderful memories to Nikki on her 1st day at the beach with her Grandma. I hope & pray for continued healing from your loss. I pray for many happy moments in your life that over power the sad moments because you so deserve them. Love you My Friend! Claudia

  4. The first time we went to the beach after my mom died, I could really feel her loss, that she wasn’t with us. It’s something I’ll probably always feel to some degree because my mom should be there and no one can take her place. She also was with Matt on his first trip to the beach – he was also probably 2 years old. The things I remember most are that she insisted on renting an umbrella and all of us had to be slathered with factor 40 suncreen (we are all very fair skinned and burn easily). It was fun to watch my mom dig in the sand with the kids because I knew she was happy too. Even though they are not physically there with us, our moms are in our hearts and memories.

    Take care ~ Kathy

  5. I spent Sunday at the beach thinking about my mom. My mom never got to go to the beach with her grandchildren, but it felt like she was there with me and Li’l D by virtue of all the times she took me when I was little. I think I’ll love the beach more in the future than I did in the past, and that love was already vast.

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