We recently spent a day at Galveston. We visited San Luis Pass beach, a spot I’d never been to before, yet would now recommend. While it wasn’t near the seawall, there was barely any seaweed or trash, and it wasn’t overly crowded.

We spent a few hours there, with our canopies, sand toys, and sandwiches. An ice cream truck came by and we got some for the kids (and myself). The breeze was just enough to give me goosebumps if I sat in the shade. It was the perfect day for the beach, and considering how close I live to Galveston, I wish I visited more.

Despite being careful about sun protection, which I lathered on before we even left the house and another application while there, I still managed to get a sunburn, which I haven’t had in years. I’m not sure how it happened. I guess it’s because I’m so fair. My daughter only got burnt a small amount on her back. She has an olive complexion like her dad and doesn’t burn as easily as I do.

With the increasing knowledge of how easy it is to prevent, and also get skin cancer, for my daughter I’ve always bought a swimsuit that includes a rash guard top to prevent sun exposure and lessen the need for sunscreen. So far, it’s worked. I recently did a search on Amazon for rash guard swimsuits for adults and you’d be surprised at the amount offered. I guess more and more are realizing the need to protect.

Growing up, we used sunscreen, but there wasn’t as much pressure to lather it on. I remember laying in the backyard with oil all over, trying to get a tan, though it’s near impossible for someone with my complexion. I usually just burned. At least at the beginning of the summer and was miserable for a few days after.

The possibility of skin cancer wasn’t looming over me then. Now, doctors say that even one sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. So, like any good parent, I not only want to protect my daughter from those risks, but also want to reduce my exposure to lessen the need for medical intervention in the future.

It’s amazing how having a child has increased my anxiety over the possibility of getting sick. I’m sure this happens to a lot of parents. I want to be there for my child. I want to experience life with her and be able to comfort her. Being ill just gets in the way of that.

Of course, I have to come to terms with the fact that my body, as with everyone else’s, is slowing failing, and complications are bound to arise. But there are things I can do, and I’m doing my best. Though not necessarily stylish, I just might buy my first rash guard swimsuit. Or at least a flattering cover-up.

Justa Lanie Garrett is a lifelong resident of Baytown.


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