July 8, 2018
An artist named Maryann Radamacher from Cannon Beach, Oregon sells merchandise that says, “I come to the ocean to breathe.” I have always felt pulled to the beach but this trip has helped me to understand and embrace how much I need the ocean to breathe. I need the movement of the waves in the ocean to center me and the sand under my feet to ground me. The beach brings me peace.
This morning I went to church with my Dad. He introduced my daughter and I in front of the congregation. It was a wonderful moment for him and brought tears to my eyes to hear him say again I filled a void he had in his life. He sat next to me with his well worn bible and whispered, “this bible has been passed down from generation to generation and it will one day pass to you as the oldest.” Later in the service he whispered, “it is my job to establish your place in this church so that when I am not here they respect you as an extension of me.”
The sermon was delivered by a guest Pastor whose theme (which was published on the program before my Dad introduced me) was, “You Are Not an Accident.” While the Pastor was trying to emphasize a message that we are all God’s children who each have a purpose, it felt like a direct message to me.
Was I an accident? I am pretty sure both of my parents would secretly admit I was totally an accident. Truly a one-night stand that certainly was not planned. It was challenging to listen to the sermon and not to think that this was God’s way of telling me it’s time to live your purpose, to pursue your life’s work, to define what is in the world I am destined to give my time, my talent and my treasure. To not be an accident but to fulfill what I was meant to do for others.
I went from church, to lunch with the family, to a campaign meeting for my brother, to the store to purchase a gift for a nephew all the while trying so desperately to hold it together.
Was the message I am suppose to be hearing today that my Dad may not be here for long? Was the message that because I “overcame” being an accident, that my purpose is significant and meaningful?
On Friday, I took my daughter to a sea life park where we saw the marine animals, the trainers and several shows with the animals. My daughter has wanted to be a marine biologist and a dolphin trainer for years. We thought she might out grow this career path but that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it only seems to be getting stronger with our Hawaiian connection. While we sat watching the magic of the dolphins do tricks my daughter whispered to me she could go to school in Hawaii and work at this park. I felt overwhelming emotions. Equal parts pride and sadness. Luckily, I had my sunglasses on so I doubt anyone saw the tears streaming down my face. My daughter would experience the Hawaiian culture. She would grow up knowing she is a person of color with a beautiful history of Aloha and Ohana. I did not. I cannot ever get those years back I missed. The sadness led me to the ocean this evening to breathe.