A Deserted Island

Sunday night, a blue Honda mini van pulled up to my home. Out of it came 5 very special people. My family. My wonderful family.

I completely enjoyed the next two days I spent with them. Josh worked in the day, so for a couple days I was oddly apart of the Brown Family again. I even sat in my old seat. There were 6 of us again.

Tuesday was the day I, nor they, will ever forget. We decided to go to Beaufort (which is about 40 minutes from my house.) It is a beautiful, water-front town. My Dad bought us tickets to ride on a ferry to a 9 miles long "deserted island" called Shackleford Island where there are beautiful seashells and 104 wild, Spanish horses. The horses have been there since the 1700s when Spanish explorers left horses on the Island.

We bounced across the ocean for 15 minutes to the island. We got off the ferry and began our walk across the 1 1/2 mile wide island. It really was an adventure where horses galloped by and beautiful shells glimmered in the sunlight. We jumped over little streams and climbed to the crest of the hills. We made it to the other side of the island and played along the beach.

Pictures courtesy of Kandace.

With about an hour left until the ferry was to return, we took our time walking back around the tip of the island. An older lady whom had come on the ferry, saw a conk shell at the same time Clara saw it. The lady couldn't reach down and pick it up, so Clara retrieved it for her and gave it to the lady. The lady smiled with pleasure. She acted at though she had been given a treasure. Clara found other shells and had us all carrying a few.

We eventually made it back to where the ferry would pick us up. I was walking with Dad, well ahead of Mom, Kandace and Clara. Andrew was ahead of Dad and me. Mom's shill yell stopped me mid-sentence. Dad and I both turned in one split second.

We both saw Kandace and Mom leaning over the side of a small, sandy cliff. In the water was Clara's flailing arms. Adrenaline took over my body and I sprinted with Dad to the spot. Clara's head bobbed up and down as she gulped the sea water. Kandace flung the camera off her neck and into the sand as she leaned in and pulled Clara up.

Clara was soaked from head to toe. She cried softly against Daddy. We hugged her and told her that it was alright. She was safe now. She had apparently stepped too far off of the sandy edge and the sand had given way underneath her.

The cool wind caused her to shiver. Daddy took off his white undershirt and put it on her. The rain suddenly decided to start coming down. The ferry came a few minutes later. Daddy laid some of the shells on the ground and said that we didn't need them all. But Clara begged for them, so we carried them onto the little boat.

We said "farewell" to the beautiful island. The warm sea breeze turned cold as the ferry sped away. Kandace and I held Clara between us to keep her warm, but her thin frame just shook away. The older lady whom Clara had gotten the shell for earlier handed us something far more precious than a shell at that point... it was a warm blanket.

Clara grinned as we wrapped it around her.

It made me think. The lesson I learned was simple: If you give without expecting anything in return and do so cheerfully, God will provide your needs. And He did this time, in such a simple and sweet way.

It was a wonderful day that I will never forget. It broke my heart to watch my family drive away yesterday morning. But, I am thankful for the time we had together. I am blessed with a wonderful family. Are you? If so, give them a hug or tell them you love them.

Children and teenagers, don't let the everyday life steal the blessing you have in being with your family. Enjoy them while you are with them. Each day with them is one less you will have. So don't be gloomy but kiss, hug, tell them that you are proud of them, let them know you are thankful and be joyful. God put you together for a reason. So enjoy!


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