In the middle of June, the girls and I set out on a summer adventure with my parents, GrandMary and Captain. When I was growing up, my dad worked as a sea captain in the Merchant Marines. He made a career change as my siblings and I began getting older so that he could be home more. I am forever grateful for the family time that change allowed us. My dad spent his entire life calling land-locked Fort Worth, Texas home, but never lost his love of all things maritime. Now that he is semi-retired, he has been spending more time at sea and has embarked with my mom on the Great American Loop. They were delayed on their journey this year for obvious reasons, but with hurricane season approaching, the girls and I joined them to move their boat up the east coast as far north as we could.
I was grateful for the chance to be relieved from the sole and daily responsibility of feeding and taking care of the girls. We drove from their house to St. Augustine, Florida and back in an RV to avoid public stops and quarantine as much as possible. The boat was the same way. It was as good a place as any to practice social distancing and I had the luxury of my mom taking care of all the meals. Some people might think it’s crazy to drive cross country and willingly set out to sea in a confined space with small children for a month, but getting away from home and spending time on the water with my family was a welcomed and pressure free opportunity for me. I got to enjoy the fresh air and form some special new memories with my parents and now family of three. Also, as cliche as it may sound, being present in the vastness of the open water is one of the greatest ways to tune in to God’s truly amazing creation that is our world.
My family has always been close, but we were never the best at expressing ourselves or talking about feelings. Working through my grief with losing Taylor, I found that my mom and dad were some of the hardest people for me to talk to. That has subsided now and we enjoyed lots of quality time together, but I felt guilty over my inability to open up to them at first. I could always sense their pain and it hurt me deeply on top of my own. They loved Taylor like their own son and they certainly love me. As a mother myself, I know that you would do anything to protect your child from heartache. Not only did they lose a child, but their daughter is working through unimaginable suffering. I felt like I needed to comfort them myself and couldn’t bear to see them grieving for my loss.
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to the others.”Romans 12:4-5
I started taking medication around two months after the accident that, for the most part, keeps the nightly tears at bay, but leaves me in constant terror of who I will be talking to when the floodgates occasionally do open. The UPS man? My daughter’s preschool teacher? The unsuspecting teenager bagging my groceries? These hypothetical interactions keep me up at night and I want to preemptively apologize to anyone who might make eye contact with me and trigger the release of my trauma. I try hard not to think about it, but can’t help worrying who will be in the line of fire when the next breakdown comes.
Sometimes the people closest to us are the ones that are hardest to talk to and I think this is why we have a tendency to avoid our loved ones when it comes to serious conversations, but can occasionally connect to and open up with strangers. I believe that God facilitates those connections. The Lord created us all with special gifts and to work together in this world because we are all part of the same body-His body. If someone confides in you, honor their confidence. If you find it strange they would choose you to share things with because you didn’t think you were that close, appreciate that they felt safe enough to open up to you and know God has chosen to connect you with another one of his children. Know too that your loved ones want to help you and are ready to listen and be there for you. We owe it to them to be honest if that’s difficult instead of pushing them away or avoiding. The Lord tells us to be kind to one another, to encourage each other and He did not intend for us to go through life alone. Be aware as you go through your day that everyone you cross paths with has been put in your life for a reason.
Copyright © 2021 M. Marley, LLC
17 thoughts on “Vitamin Sea”
you hit the nail on the head, sweet Molly.love you, Cathy
Thank you, Cathy. Margot is still talking about how much fun she had swimming and her Popsicle. It was nice to see y’all at the house!
Molly, you’re such a beautiful person.
Thank you, Jennifer. I have a lot of help from wonderful family and neighbors 😉
Thank you sharing your heart with us. It is easy to see why Taylor fell in love with you! You’re a precious gem!
Thank you for all of the support and for being one of his favorite teachers.
Wow! I love your explanation as to why someone you didn’t think you were close to confides in you. You really gave me a different way of looking at that entire situation. Thank you Molly!
Thank you for reading, Cindy. Looking forward to seeing you and starting school again soon!
Love this! You’re so precious and beautiful, Molly! With such deep insight and wonderful ability to translate it to others. Thank you for your generosity. Those who may be on the receiving end of your tears should feel blessed. They’ll witness the beauty of your deep love.
And what an amazing opportunity you had with your family! Memories and photos to treasure!
Lisa, I so appreciate your support and kind words. I still struggle with doubt on what to share and pray that the Lord continually provides me with the right words. Thank you for the lovely compliment.
Love these sea going family pics and memories. Your words move and awaken our understanding and patience with such loss of our loved ones and the precious ones left behind….for now. You are all loved and lifted in prayers.
Thank you, Carla. What wonderful hope we have in the joyful reunion with those we love!
What a beautiful post! You are wise beyond your years. A testimony of how ones faith in God is our lifeline to survive in our earthly life. The good, the bad.
Your words here has helped me understand my relationship with my girls.
I keep you in my prayers, knowing first hand the struggle. I also thank God for your wonderful words, that encourage me and so many. You have a gift, thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.
“Faith in God is our lifeline to survive in our earthly life.” I love that analogy!! Thank you for the support and prayers, Dorothy. It means more to me than I can say.
I always remember how much Taylor bragged about his family, in a good way. He told me about Paul being in the Merchant Marines a few years ago, Taylor thought that was such a cool way to see the world! I think we were both pretty jealous. He recanted an entire story that Paul told him about a time in Asia when he watched a massive crane slowly fall into the ocean, I can still remember it. Taylor wasn’t bitter about not traveling the world as a sailor, but lived vicariously through his family and friends, and almost seemed to enjoy it just as much!
Molly, your words and wisdom are beautiful and insightful. Just stumbled on to this post and glad I did. You and your girls are in my prayers consistently as are your and Taylor’s families. Your family is indeed special keeping their traditions and lifetime friends. Pray God heaps blessings on you and your daughters. ❤️
Thank you, Mrs. Richards. We do not take for granted a single prayer and are so grateful for the friends who are covering us from all over.