Memorial to the Lost

Memorial to the Lost
at Chester Eastside Ministries

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wildwood -- beach trip for families bereaved by gun violence

Two families were already waiting when I got to the Chester Eastside, Inc parking lot around 7 AM Thursday.  Soon the parking lot was filled with families toting towels, lunches, and swimsuits.  Marshelle Johnson, who had worked for weeks contacting the families, was checking off arrivals on her clipboard.

Moms were wrapping frozen juice containers and water bottles in plastic baggies (so condensation wouldn't disintegrate the brown bags holding lunches).  Teens were lugging the tote bags of lunches to the under-bus storage.  Little kids were running around the parking lot.  I was nervously handing out flyers and explaining where the bus would drop families off and pick them up.

When we got to Wildwood, some families peeled off to explore the boardwalk; others headed for the beach.  We made a little encampment of rented umbrellas and chairs.

Little kids waded into the water, squealing and shrieking when waves hit them.  The big boys dashed into the water, and were soon jumping into the waves.  Then they were digging deep into the sand and burying each other.  Then they headed back into the water.

Sunshine, waves, and sand, and a fresh, onshore breeze.  It was a beautiful day.

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