The following story is written by Edwina Carr-Jangarathis a memoir professional who has done considerable writing. We had the pleasure of publishing her book In Their Own Words.
Eyes squeezed tightly shut, I listen for the laughter of my two grandsons as I drift on my rubber raft. I’m certain if I’m silent and try hard enough I’ll hear the laughter of the boys again. Glimpses of summer days when we laughed together flash through my mind. One day, we linked our three rafts so they bumped over the small ocean waves one after the other. Not as content as I was to sit and ride, Kyle dove down under the blue surface that seemed so deep to me, fearful as I am. Where is he? I began to worry. Then, I felt something tugging at my feet and I saw him reappeared near the edge of my rubber raft. It shook fearfully and threatened to tip. Tim came to help him “torture” me. Seeing my reaction, they laughed and pulled all the more at my raft. Splashing them in self-defense, I laughed and shouted “You can’t treat your grandmother this way.” They splashed back, giggling and kicking their feet behind them.
A short while before, I’d cautioned them not to go out too far from the shore, not to set out in the shallow water in case it fell off quickly underneath. I was fearful they would drown. “Pleee-ase, we can swim,” they’d begged, but I held firm. Now, my mind can’t get past that memory. I should have let them go into the deeper water. I push back the salty tears that threaten to pour forth and mingle with the sea. Tears that stop the thoughts and leave me aching with exhaustion.
Today I don’t want to blur what I know is here. I want to listen to their laughter. So many tears have fallen on the sand where their presence still lingers three years after the car accident that took them both so abruptly away. I will not let more tears fall now.
This may be the closest I’ve come to hearing Kyle and Tim again. I want to remember their laughter today, to feel them here with me. The distant sound of laughter floats across the waves. I’m momentarily startled as my eyes open and gaze out towards the horizon. I can almost see them way out looking back, waving and kicking. They are too far away for me to be certain, but I know it’s them. I wave back and laugh as a small wave gently tips me splashing into the sea.