Beach communication: symbols of gratitude and love

by Betty Lochner on April 12, 2011

Do you have any symbols of love in your life? Something that represents or reminds you of someone special? I have known people who have found significance in a color, a shape, an animal, even an insect. I never really got it until my mom died.

You see, my mom loved the beach. So, shortly after she died, my husband, Kenny, took me to the beach to get away for a few days. As it frequently does at the coast here, it was raining.  I remember that I looked up and asked for the rain to stop long enough to take a walk. It did.

Then, I asked to find a sand dollar to remember the trip by. We walked a few more yards and Kenny said – “look down”.

In a pool of water that had not filtered back to the ocean yet, were sand dollars. Lots of sand dollars.

We started picking them up. Kenny found a doggie “poo” bag in his pocket to collect them in.

We kept walking. We kept finding sand dollars. I remember saying that there must be at least 20.

I felt as if my mom was saying to me “If sand dollars will comfort you, then here you go!”

When we got home, Kenny took the picture here as we lined them up on our deck. There were a total of 47.  The number may be a coincidence, but it was the exact age I was when she died.

To this day, every time I go to the beach I find sand dollars – usually several.  Friends join me for my beach walks so they will find some too. There are always plenty to be found. Once, after picking up a dozen or so with a friend she said “Wow, how many is enough?”  We stopped when our pockets were full.

I now have baskets of sand dollars on my deck, in my house, and in my garden.

It’s my connection to my mom.  My symbol of gratitude for her and her love for me. And, ever time I see a sand dollar, it reminds me that even though she’s gone physically, she always right here.

Love you, Mom.


Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Brietta April 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I love the connection and happiness that you find using these small objects. I doubt many others can see something this truly wonderful in such a simple thing. It is a wonderful way to feel connected to your mother.

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