Saving Mama Luna

It was the seventh wave that got her. Took her down like a sandcastle, and with much less decorum. At least a sandcastle leaves hints of its former glory, upright and stalwart. There was nothing upright about mama, in those quiet seconds between an innocuous stroll and ‘woman overboard’.

They’d headed to the ocean for the morning, my man, my dog and my mama. After a week in the city she was dying to shake off her shoes, get her toes in the sand, breath in that life affirming sea air. And Iggy needed a first class romp in del Mar. Ric loves the ocean too. Loves to watch his dog flex his muscles in the surf as he endlessly searches for la pelota. It’s a spectator sport really – from the waiters and diners under the palapas, to the fervent sunbathers, to the clusters of grand scale Mexican families – everyone stops to watch a crazy dog sail over the surf and ride the waves back to shore.

It seemed just another Sunday beach day, until mama decided she wanted to get her feet wet too. With her cranky hip, she’s become a big swimmer and has no fear of water. She left her expensive runners on the beach and headed to the surfs edge, cane in one hand, hiked up skirt in the other. And this is where things get a little murky. By both accounts, as I wasn’t there to witness the heroics, it happened fast, and was over almost as quickly. Thanks to a dog who loves to retrieve and who thinks anything in the water requires ‘saving’. In this case, his instincts were stellar and we’re convinced he should be a Disney Dog.

Mama was only in a foot of the stuff, steady as she goes with her trusty cane and determination to enjoy every moment. But the ocean is a trickster – that seventh wave thing. You get lulled into a false sense of security then BAM! You’re on your knees with water above and an undertow below. The first thing she remembers is her cane being carried away, kinda like if you’ve ever tipped your canoe and watched helplessly as your paddle floats past you downstream. Another story. But she wasn’t the only one who noticed the cane. Iggy, stage left. He raced into the surf, grabbed the cane, swam into shore where Ric was sure he would play ‘toss the stick’. Instead, that dog dropped the cane to safety then raced back in to mama’s side. She grabbed his collar and, using him for ballast on one side with Ric’s adrenalin grip on the other, was unceremoniously hauled back to shore.

Sitting under the palapa several moments later, admiring the marks of adventure on her life worn knees, mama smiled at her heroes and promised, Scouts honour, that NEXT time she’d be more careful. Next time, she’d go in with a floaty.

Footnote: There are many traits I get from my mother but I am most grateful for her fearlessness, tenacity, and I-could-give-a-$%!@-what everybody-else-thinks attitude. As I find myself getting older, I realize just how important those things are 🙂

In October 2012, I drove 6,800 kms with my artist husband, Ric Kokotovich (, and my dog Iggy, to spend 6 months in our adopted city of Merida. Leaving the fast paced world of Calgary behind, I packed my books, art and entrepreneurial spirit, and set off to explore what lay beyond the borders that had become my life. In October 2013 we hit the road south again, hoping to find out what ‘living the dream’ really means. This is my adventure.

4 comments on “Saving Mama Luna

  1. Funny how, ‘I used to do this in my youth’ can get you into trouble when you’re older. I’ve done the same thing but at the gym (I used to be able to lift this much weight!). it’s always a humbling experience and hopefully left ‘the Mama’ a little wiser.

  2. Debby Sereda

    Wonderful Alison.

  3. Oh my god, I laughed my head off(sorry mama)! Iggy to the rescue!

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