Broken Shells

I collect sand and seashells. My office/loft holds shelves and shelves of treasures from the sea. I’ll admit to being somewhat of a snob about it. I don’t like broken seashells, chipped ones. I’ll rarely bring home anything less than whole.

Last June, Frank and I took Jamie, Josh, the kids and Chris down the shore (Brigantine Beach.) I found myself drawn to broken shells, the pretty bits of pink and tan and white. I came home with a jar full of broken pieces, and put them on my shelf.



Chris was broken when we went down the shore, and yet I didn’t make any connection between that and the shells I was collecting. Before the month was out, he was gone. All this time later, spotting that jar on the shelf, it hit me. Egads. Had I written it into a novel, it would’ve been maudlin, too obvious a metaphor. And yet…


Filed under Family

9 responses to “Broken Shells

  1. And yet they are no less beautiful. ❤
    And as a side note, last June I was just a short hop over on Long Beach Island collecting shells as well. Whole and broken they are part of my sacred garden here in Oregon. Now these transplanted shells will remind me of your great heart. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      When in June were you there? How fabulous it would be to have been there the same time, even if we didn’t know it. Kind of…kismet-ish.

      And now my broken shells will remind me of you, too.


  2. June 20th-27th. We always rent that 3rd week of June–before all the 4th of July crowds converge. Synchronicity and a shell/heart connection. I love it! 🙂


  3. dianamunozstewart

    Wow. I love the jar. So wonderful. I think it is so important for us to love the parts of the world that others see as broken. The trail I run on is beautiful, mostly. But there is this one small part where the trees are heavy with vines, it is boxed in by street before opening up again. It is the imperfect part of the trail. So when I run on it, I always appreciate it. I take in the things others might see as ugly. Bulging roots, vines, shrubs with thorns. As parents, we do the same things. We see the parts of our children that others might think of as marring. We appreciate the person who shines beneath and somehow because of these struggles. The sharp edges of the broken are still beautiful. Created through living life. Each piece in that jar is nuanced, crafted, layered with intense beauty. You can see. You notice. You appreciate. I bet Chris knew this. I bet it mattered to him. Matters to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lise-Marie

    I love shells also. Most recently i found at the beach a shell—of sorts. Maybe it was an oyster shell and it spoke to me and i had to bring it home. The sea had worn away layers of the shell. Tiny little steps if you will. It invited me to write a piece for myself. These were my layers of healing. Small and barely seen were the layers, but this was my path. Today, tomorrow and forever.


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