Traveling by sea…

I wear it every day.  It hangs around my neck and I must admit, most of the time, I don’t even feel it. It’s become a part of me.

I’ve opened the clasp just a few times. I’ve cleaned it and I’ve added to it….every year since 2008.

A friend noticed it recently and asked me about it, so I guess it’s on my mind now.  My delicate little gold chain with four Puka shells; one for each year I’ve gone to Maui, remembering Leroy.

At his request, I scattered his ashes in his ocean at Kaanapali Beach in Maui after colon cancer took his life.  Every year since, I’ve returned there to  honor his memory, reconnect to that strong, soaring spirit and felt a connection that I can’t get anywhere else.

I’ve added one Puka shell to my necklace each year.

Puka is the Hawaiian word for round.  These tiny shells have a natural hole in them, each one a different shape, always imperfect and fragile.  Much like life itself.

The Puka shells carry with them a strong bond to Leroy’s final request, our love of Maui and the ocean.  Wearing these shells was traditionally thought to ensure a peaceful and safe voyage for sailors on a long journey.

Ironic that Puka shell necklaces were especially worn by those who had to travel by sea.

This Fall, I hope to add another of these magical shells to the chain.  It’s almost hard to imagine it will be five years.

Safe voyage Leroy.







VN:F [1.9.17_1161]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Catherine June 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

My heart goes out to you. It’s a beautiful way to be connected.


Kathie Scott June 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I never knew the meaning of puka shells…beautiful post.


Laurie Hirth June 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Wow… touching Laurie…and an honorable way to remember the love you still share!


Maureen (Mo) June 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

What a beautiful way of marking time; it so honors the love you and Leroy shared.


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Johns Hopkins Medicine does not necessarily endorse, nor does Johns Hopkins Medicine edit or control, the content of posted comments by third parties on this website. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine reserves the right to remove any such postings that come to the attention of Johns Hopkins Medicine which are deemed to contain objectionable or inappropriate content. Read our Commenting Disclaimer.

Previous post:

Next post: