Several months after my husband, Harvey’s, stroke last year, we decided to attempt what was once a favorite pastime: going to the beach. My sister and her husband accompanied us.
Sand is difficult to maneuver with a walker, especially on a windy day, and getting an umbrella to stay in place is harder still. Ours kept blowing down the beach toward a young father in an orange Clemson cap who was busy unloading folding chairs, surfboards, coolers and tents for his family.
He retrieved our flying umbrella and came to us with a cloth sack, which he filled with sand and weighted to the pole so our umbrella was secure in shading my husband, who was wearing a Carolina blue Tar Heels T-shirt. An hour later, when we got ready to leave, we returned the sack to him with our thanks and an acknowledgment that Clemson fans might be all right after all. The young man walked toward us and knelt in front of my husband, lightly touching his bandaged arms.
“Sir,” he said, “I know you will get better, and I wanted to wish you the best. Would it be all right if I prayed with you?” And right there on the beach, we crouched around the chair in a circle, arms across each other’s shoulders, while the man holding the orange cap prayed for the health and healing of the man in the light blue shirt. Kandy Cosper, Charlotte