Over 100 surfers lined Cherry Grove Beach in North Myrtle Beach to honor one of their own on Saturday.
Anderson Estep was 19-years-old when he went missing while surfing on the north strand last year.
“Being out in the water is what meant most to him so for me that brought me a little bit of peace and comfort even though that’s where he left us. That’s where he was at peace so that made me feel good,” said Michelle Estep, his mother.
Estep said she comes out to the beach often. And every time she does she writes her son a note in the sand, always making sure to sign I love you, mom.
“Sometimes I think people look at us and think there is something to feel sorry for and we don’t feel that way. Anderson is complete and he’s in heaven with Jesus now, he’s not suffering anymore and he’s good. We miss him terribly but we are blessed and have comfort in the fact that we know where he is and we’ll get to see him one day soon,” said Estep.
Mackenzie Delaney, his girlfriend of three years, said Anderson was full of talents. Delaney said the two met in church, Anderson played the bass and Delaney was a singer. When Anderson passed, Delaney said she decided to learn how to surf.
“It was really the only place, still, that I can really find peace is on a surfboard. I know how much he loved it and so I’ve learned to love it just as much if not more. It’s definitely a passion we now share,” said Delaney.
In the water, Delaney said she thinks of her love and best friend.
“He had a heart with so much love. He was just so funny. He could make you laugh at anything and he was just an outstanding guy,” said Delaney.
Now she remembers him – each time she paddles out to sea.
“I know that he is smiling so big in heaven right now. Just to see this many people is crazy to see how much his life has impacted all these people is just outstanding. And even whenever he first left us being at the beach house so many people came and there were so many texts and calls and Facebook messages and it shows how the life of one person can change so many lives around you,” said Delaney.
Estep said her son would have been 20-years-old on May 6th. She asked people to donate 20 dollars in honor of his birthday to a school in Haiti where Anderson went on a mission trip. She said she wanted to give back to something that meant a lot to her son.
To find out how to donate to this organization in Anderson’s honor, click here.