The Story of the Starfishes

K: I began my love for beachcombing along the shores of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There are lots of shells there which makes it great fun! I have continued this practice on my trips to the California coast, but there is very little to be found there, except for rocks and pebbles.

On a recent trip to Oregon I found myself drawn to the beach, combing it for treasures. Once again the pickings were slim when it came to shells, although this time I did find many wonderful rocks. And on this trip, something very unusual happened which I found quite symbolic the more I thought about it.

I was walking along the shore gathering my stone treasures when I spotted a plain gray, thin-armed starfish lying on the beach. I picked it up and placed it on a board I found nearby. Walking a little further, there was another matching starfish. Two identical starfish...only one had an arm that was severed, barely attached to its body.

I walked along a bit further and all of a sudden a bright red, fancy brittle starfish washed ashore. I added it to my collection, turning around and heading back towards my car. A short distance back I found yet another starfish, this one a baby. It was brittle like the gorgeous red starfish and also plain-colored like the thin-armed gray ones. It was a cross between the two.

I found no further starfish there or anywhere else on my beachcombing adventures. Later it occurred to me that the two thin-armed starfish were like my husband and me. The one even had its arm severed just like he did in the accident. The fancy starfish was like the wonderful man who is to come into my life and help me through my remaining lonely years here on earth. And the baby starfish was like the little girl I have always felt I would have with him.

Gary: My wife once found a red starfish just like the one you found.

K: That's interesting. For some reason that starfish reminded me of you: possibly because of your red personality, your star status and the fact that you're pretty unique.