The sand was smooth and cool on Rose’s feet when she noticed the chair next to her was empty. This is the first beach trip for Rose and her mom in a long while. Rose grew up going to the beach with her family and cousins in South Padre. The beach holds a very special place in her heart.
“Have you seen my mom?” she asks her friend.
“No, I think I saw her getting a drink at the bar.”
“What?!” Rose exclaims in shock.
Rose got up immediately thinking the worst and embarrassing circumstance that could happen at the beach hotel with some drunk lunatic hitting on her 70 year old mother!
“Mother what are you doing here?” Rose asks.
She remembers the times as a teenager when her mom and father told her about how boys are. Boys only want one thing from girls. Never say, “I can’t” because they think you mean yes. Say “no.” Is this seriously reverse now?
“I’m having a drink and listening to the music.” her mother answers.
The music was just dying down but there were a lot of sticky, humid, glassy-eyed people, and men too, sitting at the outside bar off the beach. Rose was startled and could not believe this was happening before her eyes, at this very moment.
“Mother, you cannot be sitting here like this!” Rose protests.
“Why not? I’m listening to the music.” Mom responds.
Rose thought, how innocent and felt a little heart tug. But then it immediately switched to surprise. “Why not?…really Mom?!” Rose’s mother, Nina, was a widow of 7 years. The only man she had ever known in her life was her late husband, Rose’s father. The only man she had ever dated was her father some 50 years ago. They lost him to Lou Gehrig’s disease. It had been a hard transition to live a single life when all you ever known was a life with a husband.
“Mom, you can’t be sitting here at a bar by yourself. It gives men a message that you are asking for companionship.” Rose tells her.
“Well I am.” Nina says. “I am lonely.” Rose’s heart sank.
“Ay, mommy, not like this and not today. We will talk. We are here with the kids.”
They walked back to the hotel room and washed up for dinner after being out on the beach all afternoon long with the kids and their friends.
Rose then realized, like on many other occasions, that it must be difficult for her mom to live alone without her dad. Living with her daughter is not a “bed of roses” either at times. Rose can be a real thorn. But Rose tries, and is continually trying. They both are. So often life gets in the way and we overlook the most important things and people in our lives. Life makes turnarounds. Sometimes at the most unfortunate times in life but we live on. We have to see what and who is in front of us and just give them a big hug!
Rose and Nina walked out to the beach on the last day of the beach trip. The seagulls were singing, the waves were playing their sweet melody.
“Did you enjoy the trip, Mommy?” asked Rose.
“It’s been a long time. Lots of memories. Yes I enjoyed it, mija.” said Nina. “Let’s come again.”
“Absolutely!” said Rose. “I’ll buy you a drink next time!”