Remember Gold Beach?



We picked up little pieces of my heart. All across the beach they glittered in the rays of
sunlight peeking through the clouds. We looked for the shiny bits while we laughed and talked
and created space in our minds to remember ourselves. To remember this day.

The surf was loud and crashed against the Oregon shore relentlessly. Some of the bits were in
the wet sand and my daughter tried to get to them and run before the waves came back in
until I made her back up. This was no swimming beach.

The Spring wind was cold and harsh yet we gathered and filled our pockets with those tiny bits.

An orange bit here – a happy memory. Going out for ice cream. A white one there, oooh so pretty.
It must be from when I was born. This one is cream-colored with a curved grey streak running
through it – Daddy teaching me to mow the yard. This piece is dark, almost charcoal hued –
smooth and rounded. I’ll bet that one holds the prom date that wanted to back out on me the
afternoon of (I hope he’s pumping gas near his trailer park now).

There was a completely black one. Shiny, jagged edges, it must have contained bits of my ugly;
hatred…ego…greed. I do try to toss those, I don‘t want them in my heart. I collected extra yellow and
multi-colored ones to fill that space. Hugs, smiles and kisses.

Daddy brought me a sand dollar. If you break it in just the right way the center shards that
are left resemble miniature angels, wings and all. It is stunning. There are five of these in
each sand dollar. Surely this is the center bit of my heart, where the Lord resides. All the
other pieces fit into place and surround the angel – staying home with Daddy when I had the
mumps; watching Star Trek together on the couch. Daddy didn’t know and I never told him, but
that was a fun 3 days for me though I doubt he would have agreed at the time.

Here’s a shiny bit with waves of orange through it and specks of yellow. We listened to his
favorite music while he tried to teach me Morse code. I got him coffee and he fixed us lunch.
Another little shell with yellow and cream – it makes me giggle like Daddy did when
he made faces and funny noises with us kids (I have lots of these bits). Another one is ruffled
and pretty and must hold a gentle bit like when I pray for him.

I’m sure they look like pretty colored pebbles and shells to all of you; but to me they will
always be little bits of my heart, and Daddy helped me gather them as long as he could.


9 responses »

  1. This is so lovely, Neeks. A beautiful tribute to a man you loved so well, and who loved you so dearly in return. ❤

    Thank you Mayumi, I know you are feeling the recent loss of your own father as well.


  2. So sorry for your loss. Your father must have been a loving, playful man. Gold beach is such a lovely spot to remember him. I hope you will be able to visit it often and relive these special memories each time.

    You’re very kind Maryann, thank you. Yes he was at times silly, playful, stern, angry, loving, giving and kind – in short, a Dad.


  3. I’m glad to see you back, but very sorry for the reason. The quality of your writing (as always) make me feel like I’m an absolute beginner. Hope to see more of you.

    Thank you Tooty. I’m hoping to get back into blogging my stories. I did enjoy doing it and people like you make it worthwhile. Truly.


  4. “shiny bits”, and “created space in our minds to remember ourselves”, i read this while away. recognized immediately this was written from another place, a special place, for special reason. Quickly I pasted it just as I lost my connection.

    I sat at a table, by myself, coffee at hand and began to read. As I did, a strange looking little fellow was setting up, fiddling with a guitar he’d be playing in short order. I read on.

    This was special, touching,sad and inspiring.

    “The Spring wind was cold and harsh yet we gathered and filled our pockets with those tiny bits”. Those memories we store, the associations attached…..the shells we collect, the recollections combed from the beach of a ‘golden’ life. These are what warms us and gives us ‘stillness’ when faced with harshness.

    As I sat and ponder, hoped and wished you well, the odd looking little fellow began to play, and play well he did. His first song, George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes the Sun’. So I hummed along, and tucked the moment into a pretend shell, as symbolic gesture of condolence till I returned.

    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
    And I say it’s all right………take care my friend.

    Thank you Calvin, more than I can express. It helps so to know that someone out there felt the impact. I know you recently experienced the very same loss, so when you pick one of my favorite songs, it hit especially close to center. I wrote this for him before he passed (changed the ending a bit after); he remembered the day and loved the piece. Here comes the sun, do ndo do do do. Oh my heart.


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