The sun was out, the waves were big, and the wind was just right. Greg was out in the water with Dale, while I sat playing in the sand with the other 3. We were nearing the end of our second (and last) beach run of the day before heading back to the beach house for supper and baths.
Alan looked out toward the water and announced quite nonchalantly, "Daddy lost his glasses."
My head snapped up to see Greg on his knees in the water, his face empty of the glasses he wears from the moment he wakes up in the morning until the moment he lays down at night.
I sprinted down to the water, frantically joining the search, but knowing already how powerful the waves were and how quickly things disappeared within them.
Greg, helpless in the search for his glasses without his glasses, went back to sit with the littles while Dale and I kept wading and looking and pacing and praying for his one and only pair to wash up on shore.
Finally we admitted defeat and went to gather our things and see what could be done about getting some replacements.
It was now 5:15 on Friday afternoon.
As we drove back to the house, we called my mom for the phone number of the nearest walmart vision center. Greg and I ran in to grab clothes and my wallet, since I was now our driver and raced back to the van. The optometrist was open until 6 and we were almost 30 minutes away.
Once rolling in the right direction we called the optometrist office for the second time, this time to make sure they would wait for us. This was when we found out she was with her last patient and wouldn't be seeing any more after that.
Um... really? The man can't see and his glasses are in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
The woman on the phone offered a Monday appointment.
Greg: That won't work. Is there anything available tomorrow?
Woman on phone: The dr. doesn't see patients on Sunday.
Greg: Tomorrow is Saturday.
Woman: Saturday... I can offer you an 11:30.
Greg: That will work.
So we U-turned at the nearest turnaround and somberly headed back to the house. Greg did his best through supper and getting the boys to bed and we went to bed shortly after.
To realize the magnitude of this loss it helps to realize the strength of Greg's prescription. Back in the old days of his childhood his lenses were what you would call 'coke bottle'. Thanks to newer technology, his lenses are no longer as thick, although the prescription remains as strong, or stronger. He does nothing without his glasses. Nothing.
We carried on Saturday morning with our original plan of a sunrise low-tide walk on the beach, enjoying the morning and searching for seashells.
And yes, in spite of the odds, searching the sand and seaweed for a pair of glasses. Which we did not find. But we did encounter another family out doing exactly the same thing. Their 11 year old girl had lost her glasses the afternoon before also. See? Those waves were strong!
From here our day carried on without a hitch. Greg saw the optometrist, was fitted for contacts, and given two starter pair. Back in the land of the seeing again, he resumed his driving duties and we enjoyed the aquarium, afternoon naps, and later, a walk out on the jetty.
We marveled at the fact that we didn't pack a spare pair of glasses, or put a strap on his own. Even though we have both been extra careful in the past, losing his glasses this time never crossed our mind. And although we briefly wondered if he had been careless wearing them into the water, I had only to remember noticing what a close watch he kept on our boys in the water to decide, no. Beyond not being careless, it would have been foolish for him to have been out there without them.
I have to admit I continued to look for those glasses each trip back to the beach, and was a little disappointed God didn't WOW us with them washing up on shore. Or on a dolphin's nose. ;)
The whole episode was a reminder for me that faith is not believing that God will do what you want him to, but that God will do what is best. Sometimes that is a hard reality to face. For better or worse this incident had me playing the 'what-ifs'. What if it had been one of our boys that washed away in the Gulf? Even the thought is too much to face, and even more so in light of the whole "faith that God will do what is best" concept.
But, morbid thoughts aside, we are extremely thankful for how it all worked out. Greg is enjoying wearing contacts again for the first time in 15 years. God has blessed and taken care of every detail. So even though it isn't the way I would have scripted it, it does feel better to just let it go, and trust God for his best. Truly, " 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus."