Looking For Answers
I took my son to the beach that morning. The morning his life was changed forever.
On September 20th,2004, my son Trey was born. He was beautiful and healthy, the most perfect blessing we could ever receive. At the time he was born my husband and I lived in Wisconsin, which is where I am from, however he was from South Carolina. There wasn’t many job opportunities at the time, and my Mother and Father were getting ready to move to Oklahoma, so we decided to move to South Carolina so that we could raise our son around his family. So, on January 3rd, 2005, we did just that.
It did not take either of us long at all to find a job, he found a job roofing, and I was hired at Subway. This put our new baby spending a large amount of time with his paternal grandmother. She was great with him, and kept him every day that we worked so that we didn’t have to pay for a sitter. The bonding between the two started forming instantly.
After about a year, we moved out of their house, but in another home on the same family property. By this time Trey was spending more and more time with his grandma, the bond becoming stronger and stronger. Even on days she didn’t have to watch him, the three of us would go and do something together. Over time, she became more of a second mother to him then a grandmother, and I was happy with that.
Over the years My husband, son and I would take at least two trips a year to go to Oklahoma and spend time with my side of the family. Every time we would go, his bond would get stronger and stronger with my mother. We would spend as much time as we could every time we went, in fact some times it was just him and I that went. Although it was only a few times a year, it meant everything to us to have the time we did get to spend with her. Although, each time was harder to leave.
Over the years, between both grandmas he was spoiled and rich in love. Here he doesn’t just have his mom and dad, but two of the best women on earth that loves him more then anything, and he did them as well. He was already quick to help, very mannerly, and had as much fun as possible with his grandmothers.
In January of 2012, the day had started out like any other, breakfast and dog walking. Until my phone rang and I received a call that forever changed my life. It was my mother, she called to tell me that she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and wasn’t sure how long she had left, but was waiting on a prognosis. I hit my knees and prayed harder then I’ve ever prayed before. It was what I thought then, the worst feeling in the world. My husband and I discussed it and decided not to tell Trey until she knew more about her prognosis, because we didn’t want to upset him until we knew everything.
Exactly two weeks later, the day had again started out like any other, dog walking and breakfast. Until I got another phone call, but this time not from my mother, but from my mother-in-law. She called to let me know that she had just left the hospital where she found out that she had stage four colon cancer, and was waiting on her prognosis. Once again, having the same conversation with my husband, and decided again, to wait until we knew more.
On February 2, 2015, I received both of the phone calls I’d been waiting on. My mother could not have the surgery she needed, so they could only give her low amount of checmo and keep her comfortable, but she would die from the cancer at some point. Then the second call came through, it was my mother-in-law. She was calling to let me know that her prognosis was six to nine months tops. So now, not only are both mine and my husband’s mother’s are dying, and our son still doesn’t know.
After talking with my husband, we decided it would be best to take him to the beach to tell him. The beach is his happy place, he can look out and watch the waves forever. He knew we were going to the beach, but he didn’t know why. And here I am trying to figure out how to tell him he’s about to lose them both, when I still couldn’t process the information.
That morning, I woke him up early, before anyone else was out on the beach, and asked him to go for a walk with me. We sat in the sand and were both quiet for so long it felt like an eternity. We could hear the waves rushing, and the wind blowing it was so quiet, almost as if he knew something bad was about to happen. When I was finally able to mumble the words out, I sucked it up and held back the tears as to be strong for him. I’ll never forget the look on his face that morning, like I stole his life from him. But he got up, walked to the coastline and stood there for two hours. When I finally had the courage to ask him what he was doing, he told me he was looking for answers.
On September 20th, 2015, it was my sons eleventh birthday. But it didn’t start out like every other day, it’s started with a phone call. His paternal grandmother,best friend, and second mom, had passed away. He was devastated to say the least. And all her wanted to do was go back to the beach to look for more answers. So I took him, and again, he stood there for two hours.
On June 11, 2018, the day started off like any other, until my phone rang. It was my brother telling me that my mother had passed away. Again, overwhelmed with devastation and at this point struggling with my faith in God. Why? Why would he do this to us? I didn’t understand. I tried to pull myself together, sat my son down, and told him that his other grandmother had passed. We wept together. But this time he looked at me and said, “come on, we need to go to the beach”. Of course it was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it for him...Or so I thought.
When we got to the beach I sat in my usual spot while he stands in front of the ocean looking for answers. However this time he came to me, held out his hand, and asked me to come with him. So together we walked to the coastline, water rushing our feet, beautiful waves, and nothing for miles. I asked him what he wanted me to do, and he said, “nothing mom, just listen”. So I watched the waves, and listen to them, and I watched and listened to the birds, while still keeping an eye on the horizon. Then, some kind of overwhelming peace came over me, and I knew they were both ok. They were no longer in pain, and free like the ocean and the birds, and I felt their presence with me. That was the day that we both found the answers we were looking for.