For 20 years, I’ve kept one of those touristy OBX license plates hanging on the wall near my workspace. It’s a reminder of a vacation my husband and I almost didn’t take in 2002.
The day before departure, my doctor called and said I may or may not have Hodgkin’s disease and it would be several weeks before I could see a specialist or know for sure. We debated whether to go but reasoned if the results were worse-case, then it might be a long time before another getaway could happen.
We tent camped in the Frisco Woods on Hatteras Island, facing the Pamlico Sound, nestled within a sparse tree line near the water. The “what if” conversation we avoided clung to us like the sweat drenched clothes that wouldn’t dry in the July heat.
One night, we woke when our tent felt like it was about to take flight. Rain pummeled the nylon walls. For hours, the wind howled and snapped the tie lines between the tent and the trees. The radio was static and there was no cell signal.
We held hands in the dark and together weathered both Tropical Storm Arthur and the inner cyclone of our greatest fear. It was here I learned of a place of peace within I never knew existed.
This is the 26th story in the Objects as Waypoint Writing Project series.