In the midst of this planning, we said goodbye to my husband's incredible, sensitive and amazing grandfather, Papa. We hoped he would be there to celebrate family and life with us in the flesh, but he was surely with us in spirit.
In order to remember him and hold him in our presence, I wanted to bring him there to the beach with us, just as we planned. Papa's favorite color is red (so much that he asked Gramie to wear a red dress when he returned home from the war!). I'd been wanting to send a Japanese lantern to the sky for Andrew for years now. My parents had sent one to him last year, but I had yet to experience it myself. Sending a red one up for Papa just seemed like the right thing for the occasion and the perfect opportunity to send one for Andrew. We were at the beach and the landscape would be beautiful.
On the evening of our lantern release, it began to rain during dinner. I had given up hope that we would be lighting them that evening, until the rain stopped as soon as it started. We made the effort to write a few notes to our beloveds and loaded them into the car. Benjamin and Claire had their hands traced on the thin paper while the rest of us (Samantha, Kay, Steve, Ray, Gramie, Benjamin, Claire and I) wrote notes of love.
As we were all piling into our cars to make the approximately 5 mile trip to the Cape May Lighthouse, we saw a full rainbow in the sky. It was present when we arrived, too.
Papa and Andrew were there with us. We could really feel it.
We walked halfway down the beach as Gramie and Kay waited and watched up on more even ground as we lit the lanterns. At first, they weren't catching fire quickly as we'd hoped... but eventually... a minute or so later... Papa's red lantern was ready to take flight. Andrew's lantern followed and there was a glimmer of red and blue in the sky on the beach at sunset on that Thursday evening, July 30, 2015.
|Papa's lantern taking flight.|
|Family of five.|
|Andrew's lantern taking flight.|
|Both lanterns here are visible. Papa's is almost exactly center and Andrew's more visible to the right.|