I went to visit my dad today.
For those of you who know me, you either think a) I've lost my mind or b) I went to the cemetery. The answer is no to both (although perhaps just a little for choice a). I went down to the beach.
Despite the merriment/joy/holly-jolliness of this season, there is always a tiny undercurrent of sadness that my dad is not here. So I took today off to do some last-minute stuff and took a very last-minute trip down to the beach. I've probably said this before, but I'm too lazy to look back into my archives, so I will say it again - the beach reminds me so much of my dad, and some of my very happiest memories with him took place at the beach. He worked very hard and was often in a lot of pain from arthritis, but he just loved the beach (sound familiar?).
Of course, we didn't spend a lot of time at the beach in late December - the water would have been too cold even for him. But I feel like his spirit is there, and I feel close to him there, so there I went. So much preferable to visiting the cemetery - I hate going there, I hate feeling like everyone is looking at me, I hate the fact that someone I know might be driving by and see me - but being at the beach, even if I'm with hundreds of other people, feels eternally more private.
(I also took a detour here - God, I love this bookstore!)