John McCullagh July 31, 2007
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I left the hospital and got into my car and drove to the local beach. This place was very special to us from the time that we both could walk. 

My only sister and I were separated in age by five years. The deficit in the departure times from our mother’s womb had never failed to cement that special bond we had developed. Our closeness and our memories were the remaining chapters of a life that was only hours away from slipping into the realm of ‘family history’.

I sat on a large rock that protruded from a sandy portion of the beach where we learned to swim, skim stones and in later years experiment with cider and tobacco. The tide was out although it was close enough to allow me to visualise glimpses of the past dashing before my grief-stricken eyes.

The relative silence of the sea was soothing. The smell of seaweed and fish from distant trawlers tickled my nostrils. My mind raced towards former visions of broken waves where two young children danced between breaks that the ocean required as it soaked our feet, while our fragile figures skipped in and out of the water.

The part of the beach that I was unwilling to leave acted as a magnet, pulling my memories back time and time again. I recalled a period when this special place became more of a sanctuary from domestic chaos than a mere recreational outlet.

 

…… more "Calm" later ……….

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