Happy Birthday Mom

22 Oct

To the naked eye it would appear that this jar is filled with hundreds of shark teeth.  But for me it contains more than that, it contains countless memories: memories of  family, memories of us, and memories of you. Today I took the lid off and stuck my  hand down in the jar as deep as it would go. The cold little teeth swarmed my  fingers, my knuckles, and then my wrist. I was no longer in my Wisconsin living  room- I was on the beach with you.

It was a typical Floridian Gulf Coast day; the sun was beating down on our dark  brown hair, but the salty cool breeze and the random splashing of the waves kept us  cool. The palm fronds would sway and rustle our favorite tune as the pelicans in the  distance dive bomb for the running bait. There is not an ominous cloud anywhere in  sight, but surely the 4:00 o’clock rain shower will arrive right on time.

Maybe this was the day when Dakota ran to you with a giant smile on his face, yelling “Aunt Crystal, Aunt Crystal, I founded a sarks tooth!!” You knew and I knew that it wasn’t a shark tooth that he held in his tiny hand. It was just a small, black, triangular pebble worn down by crippling ocean tides. You took the “tooth” from him and put it in your pocket, where the keepers go, and you said, “Kota, it’s the best shark tooth that has been found today. Thank you, darling.” He sprinted away with a bigger smile than the one he came with.

Or perhaps this was the day that you put together a birthday party for Uncle Danny under the beach pavilion. The food was delicious and our laughter was sweeter than the icing on the birthday cake. That’s the same day that I found the shark tooth that still had serrated edges- a rare find in our shallow boonies. I was so excited to show it to you because I knew it would become the best tooth in our collection. You said, “Oh, Flea, it’s beautiful! I’ll put in my pocket so you can swim.”  As I swam, you walked the line of the ebbing waves, determined to find another one like it. Even from a distance I could spot you out from the other beach patrons; you were the woman with her head down, wearing the cloth shorts with the bulging pockets.

Or maybe this was one of the days we went alone, just us. We’d pack a snack and a couple of bottled waters and hit the sand. We’d talk and walk for hours, but I was always the first to give up for the day–with sore legs from constant bending and a crick in the neck from looking at the ground for so long–why you were so fascinated with hunting for shark teeth, I’ll never know. If I had known how much I would miss it when you were gone- I would have walked with you to eternity.

Today, I hope you find an endless beach in shark teeth paradise and a pair of shorts with bottomless pockets. Happy Hunting and Happy Birthday Mom.


Your Little Flea Bug


4 Responses to “Happy Birthday Mom”

  1. andreanosugaradded October 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    neat!~I like that the shark teeth took you to another, warmer and sunnier, place. Also enjoy the connection with memories..!

    • fleabug83 October 23, 2010 at 8:57 am #

      Hey, thanks Andrea! Your hacky sack idea was great also.

  2. Jackie October 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Yep, you got me! This was very nice, I can tell this is something that was very dear to you and your mom. It’s nice to have something to look back on and still get those feelings.

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