I went to the lake with friends and with Owen and his friend Sasha. My brother Will was there too. It was just a few days, and it was fun. We went during the height of the summer mugginess in Pennsylvania, and the Lake in Maryland was cool and refreshing. It felt great.
But of course, it is so unusual to go to the Lake without Miles. We spent so many summers there with friends on the water in the motorboat and on jetskis or just swimming. We took the kayaks out or went to Swallow Falls. It was such an important part of his childhood. It shaped him and provided us all with great summer memories. Miles learned to swim there. He was always comfortable in the water because we swam so much off the end of the dock. I found pictures of me standing in the water with my arms out ready for him to jump in, and it was difficult to imagine it was him because I cannot remember a time when he was not comfortable in the water.
Before I left the lake, I removed a rock from the firepit. The rocks at the lake are a distinctive thin, flat shape and a muddy brown color. The bed of the lake is filled with them. One day years ago, we fished a bunch of large rocks out of the lake and made a fire pit near the water. We made a circle of rocks as we fished them out. We identified the large rocks underwater with our feet and pulled them to the dock– the lake is too muddy to see anything other than a scrim of silt under the water. Miles would take them back to the land and build the ring. We had great fires in the firepit. It was a great project for our visit that week. I took the rock so I could place it at the crash site at the base of the monument.
I have so many memories of Miles in the water. I remember his laugh especially when he was a boy of nine or ten and we would jump of the dock. So much to remember.