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.