I’m in Charlevoix for the week with seven other good women. Water, stones, sand dunes, trees, grass. The empty beach reminds me of summers in Union Pier when I was a child. If I close my eyes, I can smell the pungent odor of clay, taste melted cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, feel the texture of peeled green grapes against my tongue, relish the flesh as it bursts warm and watery in my cheeks.
The northern tip of
The women move easily among each other. We take walks down the beach, watch sunsets, collect and paint rocks, cook meals together, share family stories. One has a child in college for the first time, another is planning a wedding, a third is a grandchild’s birth. No matter what tale I begin to tell, Ben shows up, his antics woven deeply into the fabric of my life.
In September 1992, Ben returned from
“I just started packing my stuff and couldn’t stop.
Ben traveled light, moved impulsively and left furnishings with abandon. When his moment came on July 3, he took his chance to discard the joy that had become a burden.