When we were just sandy little Groms, our mom told us that if we found a rock on the beach with a stripe that wrapped all the way around it, unbroken, we could throw it into the sea and make a wish.
She told us these rocks are very special and they are called "Wishing Stones".
I found this perfect Wishing Stone on the beach in Malibu today and all at once realized that, since mom passed suddenly over 10 years ago, I've rarely tossed a single "Wisher" as she called them, back into the sea.
I've found some beauties, but I guess I've been hoarding my Wishers... perhaps out of fear that if I let them go, I won't find another one as beautiful and unique, ever again.
I remember that, as kids, we never had thoughts like that and yet Wishers, beauty and wonder presented themselves in abundance.
This has proven to be a very poignant and timely metaphor in my life.
Today I gave this beauty back to the sea and made the greatest wish ever!
Here's to never losing the best of what we were as kids... And to all the amazing moms out there who loved us unconditionally and did their best to make our childhoods magical even when their lives were, no doubt, full of struggles.
We miss you, Mom. Thank you so, so much... for everything.
Mom & Dad were always rescuing wildlife and Snappy was one of our favorites!
He was a baby harbor seal & he got his name from his reputation for snapping at
our grubby little fingers.
I think my brother (center) just got SNAPPED - check out his face - haha!
We created a special, sandy pen for Snappy - complete with an old claw-foot tub sunk into the sand for when he felt like splashing around a little.
I remember feeding him fresh mackerel from the local bait store and dad making trips back & forth to Marine Land (which used to be located about an hours drive away in Palos Verdes) to learn about how to care for him & pick up whatever medicines the experts advised.
In the end, Snappy was returned to the sea and he swam away healthy & happy.
Mission Lobster Freedom!
Our beloved Mother Karleen (AKA Mama Kardy, AKA Dama), who passed away in 2005, was truly an inspiration and example for us all and and I will forever be proud of the amazing, compassionate & truly brilliant woman she was. She was never afraid to do what she felt was right - even when others ridiculed her or just thought she was a little bit kooky - she always spoke her truth and she took shit from no one.
She was once invited to join Mensa and was I think, at her core, truly meant to be an artist... but being a single mom raising 3 kids pretty much on her own, she found a way to make ends meet as a Realtor working primarily in the Pacific Palisades & Malibu.
Whenever Mom was at an open house or showing clients a home with a swimming pool, she would always check the pool to make sure no bees or other unfortunate insects were drowning. When co-workers saw this, they would giggle and, I'm guessing, tell their friends about it later for a good chuckle. It was definitely a surprise when, after she passed, a few of her co-workers told me how her deep compassion had affected them and their thinking forever.
There are lots of stories like this about our Beloved Mother & Grandmother... but my favorite one to tell is the one about the lobsters, so here ya go:
You know how some supermarkets have those clear tanks full of salt water & live lobsters? Those poor guys in there with their claws disabled just waiting for some human to pick them out and take them home to be dropped, alive, into a pot of boiling water. Our local store had sold all but two... and they sat in there, day after day, probably starving to death & waiting to die.
One day Mama Kardy couldn't stand it any longer and she asked me to help her rescue them, so we got ourselves a bucket and marched into the market. As soon as we had them in our bucket and got through the checkout line, we took them as quickly as we could to the sea - a rocky tide pool area in Malibu. We carefully removed the heavy rubber bands that bound their claws shut and gave them a moment to realize they were working again. Then it was time & Mom asked me to carry them out over the rocks and tide pools, past the waves and set them free. I explained (again) that they were Atlantic lobsters and I was pretty certain that they would not survive long, if at all, in the Pacific Ocean - especially in their greatly weakened state. She replied simply that the moment of freedom they would experience would be more than worth it, so I carried them out as far as I could, and released them back into the sea while mom watched & cheered me on from the beach.
Some of Mom's co-workers had heard about what we'd been up to and the next day when mom went to work they had a cake for her with 2 lobsters drawn in the frosting along with the simple words THANK YOU!
I know the selfless love & compassion in her actions on that day, and so many others like it, will continue to radiate out into the universe forever... she always said that it was very important to her to make a difference in the world.
You did it, Mom!
We love & miss you tremendously.