Mom and Dad died eight years apart. Shortly after Dad died, I asked Mom what she wanted us to do with his remains. Her request was for us to wait until she was gone then take them to the beach. I knew just where she wanted us to place them—by their much loved beach house, which they sold years before to move near us in the mountains. Finally, it was time to fulfill her request. The broad, mostly empty beach had changed over the years, but the scene from their house, the dunes, the rolling waves, the surfers and the windy open sky remained the same. I found a spot where I knew Dad had walked daily and where Mom could see the waves, surfers and Dad from her favorite reading spot. Knowing never to trust waves or turn your back on water, I was watching while my husband prepared for our ceremony. We were in that sweet spot where the waves lapped gently onto the beach.
We took a deep breath and said our goodbyes as we gently put a few of my parents’ memories in the sand. We could feel the love they shared for each other and their special time at the beach house. For just a second, I took my eyes off the waves while we got down on the sand for a photo to capture the moment. Suddenly, a surprise rogue wave came crashing into us. It was so unexpected we fell sideways into the water. I managed to keep my phone dry, but our shoes and parts of our clothing filled with seawater and sand. We smiled, laughed, kissed and realized Mom and Dad were sharing the moment with us in their own magical way. We were not upset nor unsettled. Our inner and outer happiness showed in our faces and attitudes as we shook sand from our clothes and removed our wet shoes.
Our easy adjustable attitude was the savior of the day. We chose to live our lives without drama. Yet, there are those who would be upset and undone by the wave’s action, which led to a tiny bit of discomfort. They might spend time complaining about being wet and sandy, finding fault where none lies. Adopting a positive attitude in every aspect of life allows for ease and flow. Mom and Dad lived with the philosophy of “let go,” “what will be will be” and “life is good; be happy!” We taught the same to our kids, allowing for harmony and calm in their lives.
I like what the Dalai Lama says about attitudes: “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” This rings true for our family—attitude wins!
Suzie Daggett is an award-winning author of The Pink Door ~ Mom’s Journey to the Other Side, and the author of two other books: From Ego to Soul ~ Discover what your Soul needs and what your Ego wants, and PEARLS ~ 52 Contemplative Insights. www.suziedaggett.com