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God Bless You Mary

Good morning everyone. These short cruises take the most time and energy so the blog has been catch as catch can these last few days. Seems like we just departed and then we are back again only to spend a couple days getting the boat ready again. We returned from our last 6 day cruise to some very sad news.

The schooner’s namesake, Mary Day Hawkins passed away last Friday morning. Mary has been sick for the last few years, in and out of doctor’s offices with congestive heart failure. I think I might have given up long ago but Mary was never a quitter. When I visited with her in May she was short of breath but smiling just the same. I think that is what I admired most about Mary. I never felt like I had room to complain in her presence. Mary lived a very full life and though I only heard small snippets of it I feel honored to have known her. The medallion on the ice box belongs to the Hawkins family. Each spring for the last 9 years we have visited with Mary and she has insisted that we hang the medallion in its place of honor over the ice chest. Each fall have we returned it to her and told her about our adventures of the summer. She always loved to hear how the kids were doing. We have a picture of Mary holding Sawyer at the Christmas party we had during the rebuild of 99/00. She is beaming.

We asked to her to re-christen the vessel after the rebuild and she insisted Jen do it. Mary had the wisdom to accept that change was inevitable, and good, though perhaps not always easy. I visited Mary as much to hear her stories as to hear how much she appreciated everything that we have done to keep her namesake with as much pride as she had been built and launched. Her affirmation means more to me than any others I have ever heard.

We will miss Mary. We know she is in a better place. We are left to carry on her legacy. Hopefully we have gained a little of her strength, her wit, her common sense. On Tuesday we sailed by Mary’s childhood home on Benjamin River on Eggemmoggin Reach and fired a canon salute in her honor. The kids tossed a few flowers in her memory. I was choking back the tears. No one aboard would have understood how deeply we will miss her. As we sailed away we heard a cannon salute fired in return from somewhere in the harbor. Thank you to whoever it was that fired back. Perhaps you understood the tension still in my throat, the mist in my eyes, the loneliness we feel. God bless you Mary.

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