October 18: Seashells


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We survived the wedding and the day after, we sat around by my dad’s pool while my aunt and uncle came to visit before they left for the airport. One funny thing to report: my aunt and my dad are twins. I should have known this could happen to us… but I digress….

My father has a condo on a small island about 1 hour away from Tampa. It is a quiet, surrene setting along the gulf of mexico with a private beach of white, white sand and clear blue-green water. This is only my second time here. I wish I had the luxury of being closer to my family so I can soak in more of these moments that are so important to me. So this vacation is somewhat bitter-sweet. It took us so long to get here and the kids were such troopers, but honestly we cannot do too many of these kinds of trips. Plus there’s so many other places to see. I wish I could just accept the distance but I no longer can. I used to think before that I could. So my face smiles looking at my kids with their Pop-pop on the beach so busy digging sand and investigating how the water works with the sand – but my heart and soul are a bit battered down. I feel too tired to think too deeply about anything anymore. I just feel sad, so misunderstood, and not listened to. But again I digress.

Today we took a long walk along the beach and all the kids were looking for shells. I love doing this and today was a treat with the four kids. We had two plastic bags and Twin Husky took to carrying one of them. Red also had a bag with her sandals and shells in it. We found so many. It was so wonderful to have the kids scattered and busy at work looking for shells, looking at the waves, talking about the birds – all on private beach so it was just us.

When we got back to the condo we rinsed them off (just me and them) and put them in a towel to dry. We then noticed that the ground cover near the parking lot was also shells. I thought they would all be broken but there were some really beautiful ones in there – so we went hunting for more. Big Bro’s job was the colander, Twin Husky’s job was the hose, and Red and Twin Crazy were busy laying out the first round of shells.

It is moments like these that I hope to never forget. How we all worked together. How everyone was busy and occupied. How everyone was grouped together yet each kind of doing their own thing. And how I just let them be kids. Jump in the hose water. Get wet. Search for treasure. And they let me be with them to experience it all.

How can it be possible that I get so much pleasure out of this moment but yet I can’t help to see myself in these shells – none perfect, some scarred, but all empty. That is how I feel sometimes. Just very empty. And too tired to fight any longer to fill myself up with feelings I once had. I’m just too tired.

I am typing this now as each is sleeping in the room on the floor. I hear their breathing, and imagine their tired bodies replenishing energy for another busy day tomorrow. And I bet anything that we will be searching to add to our existing bounty of seashells.

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Comments

  1. Kim, this is a really beautiful post of a very special moment in time. I felt like I was right there with you through this. Although it’s difficult to read about your feelings of emptiness, I admire your honesty and courage. I hope that you find it cathartic to put your feelings to words. I found it cathartic to read. Keep up with this style of writing. It suits you well.

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