Monday, February 22, 2010

Ocean Beach

Tonight the kids and I went to Dante's Jiu Jitsu class. Well, Dante went to his class, the rest of us wandered around while he was at his class. Arianne went walking down along the store fronts to talk on her phone. My youngest, Remy, and I walked over to Ocean Beach. He wanted us to go running, but I was wearing dress shoes from my morning at work. I stood by the sea wall, and watched the sun set while he ran around the beach.

For those of you unfamiliar with San Francisco, Ocean Beach is in the north west side of the city, where you find the Cliff House. It is one of those tourist destinations, a beautiful restaurant with beautiful views. It is also one of the places Michael and I considered for our wedding reception.

Ocean Beach was a favorite destination for Michael. He loved the beach. We would occasionally pack up a lunch, our books, and our youngest, Remy, for a day in the sun. It's a great spot for playing with your dog, running, or playing in sand. It's not the safest place for swimming, besides the water is awfully cold. I do remember one scorching hot day when Michael and Remy actually swam in the water. It was a wonderful afternoon. Michael and I had just started dating, and it was our third month anniversary. Yes, third month. When you first start dating, you look for every opportunity to celebrate with a romantic dinner. Ours was with Remy in tow. After an afternoon at the beach we went to Tommy's Mexican Restaurant, where they have killer margaritas. I remember sitting at the table, toasting to each other with our drinks, and Remy asking, "are you going to marry my Dad?"

We laughed, me feeling quite embarrassed. But I do remember us looking into each other's eyes with that certain twinkle. I felt so happy. That was almost four years ago. It's hard to believe that in only four years, we did get married, battled cancer, and said goodbye. Today was my first visit back to Ocean Beach since my last visit there with Michael this past summer. I stood there looking out at Remy running around the beach laughing and having fun. It was a scene played out many times before, but there was that one difference. Whenever we went to the beach I was the stick in the mud, who sat on the blanket reading a book while Michael and Remy played in the sand or water. Today was a good day to return. The weather was cool, but felt refreshing. The sun was setting, and it felt very peaceful. There were not a lot of people around, so I wasn't distracted from the sound of the waves crashing to the shore.

I looked out and spoke to Michael. "Here I am Dear." I immediately wished I had brought some of his ashes with me, but I hadn't really expected to find myself there today. Now that Dante wants to take this class everyday, I expect that we will be spending a lot more time at Ocean Beach. I promised Remy that I would bring my tennis shoes next time so that we can go running. When I do I will bring some of Michael's ashes, just a small handful. I'm slowly spreading a tiny bit of his ashes at our favorite places. A pinch of Michael here, and a pinch of Michael there. I'm wanting him to be one with the world. I'm wanting to know that he is blowing in the wind, and washing up on the shore.

As I stood there looking out at the beach I realized how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful place. I wondered why I didn't come there more often. I made a promise to Michael to go there more in the future, and to remember all the fun times we had. I looked out at Remy running around ridiculously, and reminded myself to make more time for play.

We got home, and Dante gave Remy and I a quick lesson in Jiu Jitsu. We wrestled, laughed and had a really fun time. Arianne just looked at us boys as if we had lost our minds. Once again, I reminded myself just how lucky I am.


  1. Well Daddy, I gotta say, perfect music for this post. They just fit together. I think it was a nice afternoon. Looking at Dante today made me think about how proud of him I am. How much he's really grown, and on his way to becoming a nice very handsome young man. And then I thought how proud I am to have you as my Daddy. How thankful I am that I ended up in our crazy family. I know Daddy Mike felt the same. I remember sitting at the dinner table staring at you and then looking at Mike and saying, "well he's your husband now." and Mike just looked at you with a sly smile and turned to me and said "well he's your Dad." We would all just end up laughing. It felt a little bit like that today. Looking at all you boys. Me and Daddy Mike were always there on the side watching the three Cano Boys laughing at your craziness. It was nice to see that again tonight Daddy. And I bet He was right there with me watching you with his big beautiful smile. I Love you Daddy! Goodnight!

  2. Thank you daughter. Thank you for reminding me of those dinner conversations, they were the best. I can picture Mike's smile, and the sarcastic responses he would give. I'm so glad that Dante is home full time now, as our dinner table doesn't feel as empty.

    I love you.

    Dad, in real time.

  3. beautiful post. beautiful beach. your heart seems a tad lighter with this new connection to your beach. you do not have to explain the pull of sand and ocean to me. i am glad you have it so close to you to return to time and time again. peace and love.

  4. Dan, You have an amazing daughter! And I sure can relate to the healing power of the ocean. I'm glad it is helping you and your family, too.

  5. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your day. I love being able to visit you and your world. This post really spoke to me in a way that said how we all have to keep on going and keep on living. To continue to find joy in the antics of a child's crazy running around on the beach! It also spoke to me about the importance of all kinds of love be it for our children, a romantic partner or the love that binds a family through thick and thin. The spirit of Michael is a part of all of those.

  6. What is it about the ocean that is so soothing to the soul. I have that connection too, although I rarely get to the ocean, when I soothes all of me. You ARE lucky to have it so near.