Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor

January 2007
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A Birthday, a Reunion and the Ocean
Filed under: General
Posted by: Dan @ 11:43 pm

Last Friday, with some fear and anxiety, I left for my first journey away from home since the overnight trip to see the Greg Brown concert back in October. And this was going to be four nights and five days away. It’s hard for me to leave the security of home and the place where I always feel Sandy’s presence the most. But I headed out, leaving a friend to take care of the house, the two dogs and the cat…. because this was going to be good and I couldn’t miss it…

Saturday was my mom’s 75th birthday and she and her husband were getting together with some friends of theirs from college for a combined birthday party in Eugene, Oregon (one of their friends had a birthday a couple days before). So my brother and two sisters and I, along with a nephew and niece, decided to surprise her by showing up at the party. She had no idea we were coming, considering that I live about an 8-hour drive away and my sister Megan lives in Kansas (though she actually flew even farther to Oregon — from Indiana where she was attending a conference). [ My brother lives right in Eugene and my other sister lives an hour away from there.]  I picked up Megan at the Portland airport Friday night and Saturday we met up with the other co-conspirators, including the party hosts. Needless to say, mom was shocked and very happy to see all of us together again. The last time we were all together was almost three years ago. It was a great reunion and a wonderful party.

My sisters and brother and I spent the next couple of days with my mom and her husband at their home on the Oregon coast. We had a great time walking the beach and hiking the rugged rocky cliffs as the wild winter surf pounded the coast. Though it was heartbreaking to be at the beach without Sandy, since this is one of our favorite places, it also felt peaceful and comforting to strongly feel her presence in this place. So many good memories here.

Early on the last morning, just as it was getting light, I walked down through the cold misty air to the almost deserted beach — a raven my only companion — and played my Native American flute for Sandy… facing west and standing near the water, the notes blended with the roar of the crashing surf and floated out to sea… out over the waves being lit up by the sunrise…

Good night,