As a girl in high school, my family lived on this little tiny island called Antigua. For four years we were missionaries there. At the time I thought I was being punished in some way – the island was so secluded and far, far away from friends, family, and everything that “normal” teens hold dear. Way back then, about once a week we came to this beach. We packed a lunch and sometimes a dinner. We stayed until the moon reflected over the waves, and until we had moved the towels as far up as the beach would allow, to avoid the incoming tide.
One day, however, I grew up and moved away. I came back to the States, completed four years of college, got married, and started my career. During college, my Dad passed away, while still living on that island. He left a complete void in my life and for years I struggled to accept what, again, I thought was some sort of punishment. I sought out therapy, and for many months I worked through feelings of sadness, anger, denial, abandonment. We decided as part of my therapy, that I needed to go back to Antigua. Maybe I could find some answers there.
Acceptance is a funny thing. By the time I returned to the island, it had been seven years since Dad died. And the moment I stepped back on that beach, the relief swept over me much like the waves swept over the sand. I finally accepted what life had dealt me. I accepted that my Dad had left me a legacy. He left me a gift…that gift was this beach and this little tiny island. He finally spoke to me that day, and his voice was soft, reassuring, comforting. If you listen, very intently, you can hear it in the waves.