2022-12-30 A Birthday Tribute

Sharing a story of when I went to a beach Rick & I had meant to explore, but we never got the chance to go back after his cancer diagnosis. Since Rick ‘moved to paradise’ I am very aware of heart shapes: in clouds, leaves, rocks, etc. But there are some family and friends on both sides that aren’t supportive of my heart ‘news’ and photos.

I first shared this photo and story on Facebook September 2021, so I didn’t post to this blog at that time. I recently joined a new grief Facebook group and submitted the ‘ice cream shell’ photo + story earlier this morning – not necessarily thinking of it as a Birthday tribute to Rick. But a little later I couldn’t believe the response! Within the first 2 hours of it posting there was 1,160 ‘Like/love/amazing’ responses plus over 110 comments.

And knowing Rick as I do, he would feel so honored and more than that, he would chortle with delight that a small part of his story -and our story- perhaps brightened the day of so many other people. Happy Birthday my love, I celebrate you always but definitely more today!

Rick’s 64th birthday, he would start to lose his hair that day after the 1st 3 chemo treatments.

The story: I went back to a beach Rick & I never got to walk on, fulfilling my promise to him to visit and ‘celebrate’ him. I had this little cove to myself and started talking to Rick out loud. After I picked up several heart shaped rocks that were in my path I told Rick: “You know I don’t look for hearts, they seem to find me. And I do find other shapes, too!”.

Just then a big wave broke against my feet and something caught my eye. It was a piece of shell, looking like a vanilla ice cream cone carefully licked down halfway. Our family teased Rick for always choosing a vanilla ice cream cone and having a signature, studied way of licking it!  This broken shell looked exactly like Rick’s cone would have looked! I could not believe my eyes! I gasped and said “now you’re showing off, but I love you!” For a moment I just stood there, my heart pounding and feeling hugged and loved.

The ‘ice cream cone’ broken shell that found me!

Published by terriamma

I'm a Northern California native and have made over 60 trips around the sun. I work hard, play harder (and younger) and believe life is best lived with passion!

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