Soon, I'll write about our trip to Massachusetts in July when my brother, Wally, Charlie and I, attended my nephew, Philip's wedding, and Donna stayed home with all seven children, by herself. That reminds me: we need to send her away to a spa for the weekend.
Donna is amazing. She is such a gift to our family and we are so fortunate to have had her in our ranks the past nearly 30 years. She and Wally have never had a formal wedding ceremony - and I recently told my brother that Charlie and I want to throw them a wedding. We totally mean it ... all they need to do is show up.
This past week, Donna and the boys showed up on Nantucket and their presence was a highlight of our trip. Because our children are the same age; the twins are nine months to the day younger than the triplets; and Wyatt is five weeks to the day older than Henry - they all get along fantastically. (For the most part.)
On the day that they arrived, the waves were especially huge and very intimidating for little people who are not accustomed to the surf. I'm not sure if there's someone in this particular wave, while I can't see it now, I wouldn't be surprised if you are able to spot a foot or some other random body part.
Donna, ever the vigilant mother, stood over the flock keeping watch and holding seashells and ocean treasures the children collected.
I also stood over them keeping watch, but while Donna had both hands available to grab children who were pulled in to the waves, I had one hand clutching my camera.
It is because I had one hand on my camera that I was able to capture this moment when a huge wave came in and took out all of the children who had been standing with their feet in the water.
Donna rushed in to grab her son, William, before he was pulled out in to the Atlantic, and in the process, was flipped over by the surf backwash, herself. This whole thing happened so fast - it wasn't my intent to be snapping off pictures of Donna toppling over head first in to the waves.
In this photo, the only thing you can see of Donna are her arms that are wrapped tightly around William. The rest of her is submerged beneath the rushing sandy water. This picture perfectly captures the woman who I've known since I was a young teenager. She's always standing by ready to do absolutely anything for those that she loves ... even if it means sacrificing her own comfort.
Right after the big wave, I swapped out with Charlie for "Kid Watch" and retreated to the top of the beach where I continued to take pictures with my soaked camera.
Donna persevered and stayed in the surf with the kids. Which further illustrates why she is not only one of the strongest and biggest hearted women I know ... she's also one of the most waterlogged.