Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2006 at Mattie's fourth birthday party. This was the first party we had for Mattie outside of our home. We held it at The Riverbend nature center and the theme that year was dinosaurs. The park did a wonderful job of leading us all on a nature trail, having the kids dig for plastic dinosaur bones, and even getting to hold turtles and snakes. Peter snapped this picture of Mattie and I together right before Mattie blew out his candles. As you can see, Mattie was talking to me about what he was going to wish before blowing out the candles.
Quote of the day: A person starts to live when he can live outside himself. ~ Albert Einstein
It is hard to believe that tomorrow we are driving back to Washington, DC. Five days away went by too quickly, especially when considering that it takes me at least five days just to de-stress a bit. Of course being away and not working on things full-time is a mixed blessing and causes both Peter and I to reflect more upon our grief. It seems like vacation times produce great amounts of sadness and depression, even more so from regular everyday life. If that is even possible. I believe this is the case because for seven years we always went on family trips, like kid focused activities, and saw the world through Mattie's eyes. Now when we go on vacation, the adventures are just not the same, and naturally we can't help but notice all the families and children around us playing around or on this particular weekend celebrating Easter/Passover together. As I have all week, I will describe our day through the pictures below.
Last evening, we went out for our usual walk at dusk. I love going out at that time of night, because chances are high that we will see bunnies. We certainly weren't disappointed last night. Peter captured some wonderful bunny shots. He got so close to this bunny, that the bunny almost seemed domesticated!
Peter took a whole series of photos of this bunny grazing. I am only sharing two in the series with you, but you can see how beautiful this bunny was, and how comfortable she was around Peter.
Along our walk last evening, we heard this bird with his amazing voice. We looked all over for him and finally I spotted him high up on a holly tree. This fellow is a Northern Mockingbird, with an absolutely INCREDIBLE voice. He stopped me in my tracks, and he was very persistent!
This morning, despite the wind, we took a walk on Bethany Beach. The beach is pristine and unpopulated which makes it seem like a wonderful getaway in which you can appreciate the unspoiled nature around us.
Peter took several beach photos this morning. While we were walking we did pass by an occasional neighbor walking his/her dog on the beach. The dogs absolutely love the sand and they just seem so happy to be outside and by the water. The irony about this was every dog came up to greet Peter, so I have nicknamed Peter "the dog magnet!"
As we are walking along the beach, on one side we are seeing the Atlantic ocean and on the other side we are seeing these beautiful houses. This beach offers something for everyone's eye. I love passing by the houses, seeing how they are painted, decorated, and cared for, and imagining who lives in each house. I feel that a house does reflect a person's style and personality, and I have a good old time envisioning what some owners must be like.
I entitle this picture, "beach prints." Because there are not many people visiting the beach at this time of year, it is easy to capture bird prints on the sand. I followed these tracks for as far as the eye could see.
Today, we drove to Rehoboth Beach, which is about 20 minutes away from where we are staying. As you enter into the town, there is a wonderful replica of Rehoboth Lighthouse welcoming you in.
We had lunch in Rehoboth and then walked the main thoroughfare which is filled with all sorts of shops. I am pictured here on Rehoboth's Pier, with Dolles (a salt water taffy store) behind me. What you may not be able to see was the boardwalk was crowded with people and DOGS. At times we weren't sure what there was more of on the boardwalk, people or dogs! Some dogs were even dressed up in t-shirts and YES DRESSES!
As we were walking through the town of Rehoboth, we came across this very unusual tree. The tree has the shape of a pine, but the spiky leaves of a cactus. To me the tree looks like some type of agave, but since I can't classify it on the Internet, I do not have the exact name to give you. Nonetheless, I can safely say I have never seen anything like it.
On the doorstep of one store, was this huge bundle of plastic wrap. However, when you look at this wrapping you realize it was in the shape of a bunny. I love the whimsy of this "Rehoboth Easter bunny."
Later today, we went back to the beach to walk. I was bundled up in sweaters, a coat, and my walking shoes. But we were determined since seeing the ocean is a special sight for us. While walking, we started talking about Mattie again. Our conversations however, produce no answers to all our many questions, and at times it is very easy to get very low and down. If you think our feelings are unusual, and that other parents who lost a child are in better shape and adjusting better, I would beg to differ. It isn't possible to lose a child and ever be better, what the difference may be is how open a parent might want to be with others or the public about the impact of this loss. We walked further this afternoon along the beach, and we passed this Red house. This house caught my attention. The color, its huge windows, and its square footage were beyond impressive. The house almost looks like two or three houses in one.
I am signing off from Bethany. Thank you for sharing in our journey this week. We wish all our readers a very happy Easter and Passover, and the next time you will be hearing from us, will be back in Washington, DC.