This past weekend I got to experience something I never thought possible.
Let me start by saying a book came alive to me. I felt every emotion and traveled beyond the words of the story. Mostly because it was true. The feelings of happiness, sadness, loss, but through it all hope. Because of love, hope and faith remained.
I listened to the stories of those along the way and felt as though I was witnessing it all for myself. I knew once the story was over I had to find my own journey by visiting the place it all began. The pull I felt through each page led me in a direction I soon had to take.
It was something I felt I needed to do either alone or with a friend that could understand all that I was going through. Someone that could share my journey with me. I was lucky to have one that wanted to experience it too.
In order to understand what I was feeling she had to read the book and she did. We spoke about the many firsts we would both go through together.
It had been so long since I traveled alone. My children are 12 and I haven’t traveled alone since I was pregnant so this was a big step for me. My friend never flew on her own so this was a first for her as well.
The journey began with a letter. A letter I began writing to myself to try and put into words all the things I have been feeling and tried to put on paper the memories, most were lost, that I could remember. I was taken to a place that I blocked years of my life I couldn’t remember and still can’t. I did my best to sit and search within myself which was difficult. I stopped writing on many occasions because things felt too hard. I realized I had more gaps than I thought which made me feel lost.
Each time I was ready to try again, a little more came to light. My friend and I finished our letters at the beach house. That meant we were ready to make our journey to Kindred Spirit. A mailbox located on Bird Island tucked away in the sand dunes but visible along the beach the closer you reached it. There were two benches on each side of the mailbox. Benches that people could sit and read the letters, journals, and postcards people placed in the mailbox. Some were so painful you had to take a moment before reading it again. Some were sharing happiness, and some were encouraging, uplifting, and reminding you that you are amazing. All the letters I read touched me in a different way.
Let me rewind a little. When my friend and I got to the mailbox there was an elderly lady writing in the journal. She was so sad. You can see the pain on her face and the hurt throughout her body language. When she was done writing she placed the notebook in the mailbox and began talking to my friend and I. She told us about her son that died an hour and 10 minutes after he left her house to buy her a birthday gift as that day was her birthday. My friend and I couldn’t help but cry along with her and try to be there as best as we could. After she walked away trying to find answers and looking for signs of her son in seashells or anything she could hold on to.
I opened the mailbox and began reading her letter. Let’s just say my insides caved in with pain.
Once we were done reading letters and reflecting, we made our way back down to the beach in the direction of our beach house. Along our walk we were approached by people asking if we knew where the mailbox was or if we had seen it. We proudly said yes and directed them to Kindred Spirit. So many people are making their way there. Wanting to share their story. It felt so beautiful knowing we were part of their journey in some way.
We did it. I couldn’t believe it. We created another moment in time and we did it together.
Thank you Melissa for sharing this experience. This adventure with me.