Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Its been a while.
One summer when Jack was four, long before he got really sick, we took a trip. We went for a four day sail on Brown Eyed Girl. She was a beautiful 44 foot sail boat, Drew was our captain and Mimi his wife the main crew. It was the only time that we just brought Jack with us. Mimi and Drew Shea brought their four year old Haley and Jack's bud. Haley like her mother had a very strong spirit and was already an avid sailor. We left Stonington Harbor en route to Newport RI. I have been many times, but coming into Newport on the water... well it was truly something I will always remember. We met up with the a the rest of AYC American Yacht Club from Rye NY. We docked and headed off for a BBQ, Drinks and a great first night.
Jack loved the water. He settled into life on the boat effortlessly. While at the time Jack had been diagnosed with CF and had been to the hospital once, I had no idea that a few years later we were about to sail into the roughest seas ever. I cherish my memories from that trip. Jack new nothing but happiness. Life had been so good. He went to the nature camp. dressed in his button down, and slacks, pushed his red car or anything he could find with wheels, and finally appeared to be potty trained.
I will always remember that time on the Brown Eyed Girls with Jack. Haley and jack bunked in the bow of the boat. They woke up having hilarious conversations. They loved life on the boat. And I must say, we enjoyed nothing but smooth sailing, well until the last day. As long as there was a shower wherever we docked. Mimi liked her shower, and so did I.
My favorite stop was Shelter Island. I learned a lot about boys that stop. We put our anchor down in the bay. Mimi made a call and a gorgeous boy showed up in a launch and took Mimi and me to the Club. We showered and ordered Sea Breezes, the bar tender instructed to have them on deck so we could see the sun set. It was Lord of the Flies back on board. Jack and Haley were jumping in naked, the dads had no control over the situation at all. Jack loved every minute of this freedom. He was so happy, no idea the rough seas ahead.
Mimi and I made our way back and now it was the guys turn to go a shore and shower. Drew tried to fire up the launch from the boat. He was huffing and puffing but he could not get that launch to start. Mimi and I said we could make a call and that cute boy would come back. Drew refused he was going to get to shore on his own. A guy thing. Finally he did. Mimi and I settled in with Jack and Haley. We had wonderful night rocked to sleep by the gentle waves.
It was the last day we encountered some rough seas, and I watched as Drew took the helm and sailed our boat through the current. Jack and Haley, life preservers on, held tight and seemed to enjoy the ride. I had know idea the rough seas that were ahead for me and jack. But like our time on Brown Eyed Girl, Jack handles whatever comes his way.
He loves when the seas are calm. He lives every day like its his last. He is on from the time he wakes up. But when we hit rough seas, he takes the helm, and does what he needs to do to get to calmer seas.
I love my son. I admire him. his strength and courage. I will be here to navigate those seas with him, wherever that is.