“Mommy, mommy, tell me again,” Grace giggled.
Sitting on the surfboard, watching the little dark-haired beauty run back and forth had become one of her favorite things. He was right, Hawaii was home, and she wished she would have listened to what he wanted for them in many ways. Two years have passed since they exchanged vows on the same beach she now sat with their daughter. Grace, so full of life and wonder, was the spitting image of her father. She has a spirit of adventure that could only be attributed to Kaine. A handful, but every second of the day, Gypsy found comfort in her smile. Her daughter would always be a gentle reminder that it was real. That there was love once.
Plopping her little bottom down in front of her mother, Grace held a small flower in her hand, waiting. “For Daddy,” she said. Pointing to the water, Grace had done this routine with her mother for weeks now, and though each time it pulled at Gypsy’s heart, she made a promise never to let a day go by that he was not remembered. If he couldn’t live in the physical world with his daughter, she would make sure he lived in Grace’s memory.
“Alright,” she said. Patting her leg for her daughter, the little one moved to plop her sandy bottom dead center in her mother’s lap. The beach was the one place where she knew they could connect without being there. It’s where they met.
“Your Daddy was the most handsome man in the world. His hair a lot like yours,” said Gypsy. She twirled her finger in the little girls’ curls. “See that ocean out there, well his eyes, they were the color of the waves,” she said. Her eyes were always getting a little misty when she spoke of him. “Once upon a time, not so long ago, a Prince rode up on a surfboard, and he never even knew Mommy was waiting for him,” dramatic voice filled with excitement. “Well, the Princess Mommy, she was so lonely, and your Daddy took her hand and told her she would never be that way again. He was like a magical dragon—a slayer of the Boogeyman. I mean, wow. He was amazing, and Mommy loved him the moment she met him,” she said.
“Oh, mommy,” said Grace. In her hand, she held that flower tight, the petals now squishing from her grasp.
“Well, one day right there on the spot on the beach, Mommy and Daddy got married. We loved each other so much. Your Aunt and Uncle were there, and they told us of their love. They told us how forever in our hearts, we would walk hand in hand if we only believed in each other. Guess what, Grace. You were there too, but in Mommy’s tummy,” said Gypsy. She wasn’t ashamed that she was pregnant when they got married. A child created out of love.
Smiling at her Mommy, listening to every word she said, Grace loved storytime. She never got tired of hearing about her father. A knight in shining armor, a slayer of all that is evil, that was her Daddy. That was the name he would have worn the best. Kaine was made to be a father. From his lighthearted spirit to a laugh that Gypsy will never forget, his daughter was growing to be his spitting image.
As the two walked hand in hand to where the ocean met the earth, Grace tossed the flower in as a remembrance of a life well-lived. “Are we doing this again tomorrow?” Gypsy said.
Nodding her head, watching the waves take the token away, for as long as she wanted to, Gypsy would share the memory of the man who stole her heart.
“Let’s go get some lunch. We can have pineapples, too,” Gypsy smiled.
As they walked back to the house, his house, their house, the treehouse was the first thing in sight. He built that for Grace when Gypsy was pregnant. Now, it was where their daughter loved to play. She found beauty in everything he did, and it was too let to tell him. If she learned anything from all of this, it was never to let go.
Three sets of footprints walked down that beach that day. One a little lighter than the rest.
Do you remember when we met
That’s the day I knew you were my pet
I wanna tell you how much I love you
Come with me, my love To the sea, the sea of love I want to tell you just how much I love you
Come with me, to the sea of love…