The story of the paua shell brooch (Part Two)

by | Jul 29, 2013 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

Dear reader, I grieved the loss of the brooch. I thought about it every day. I pictured it in my mind. I wanted to call it back.
Then after a couple of weeks, I received a phone call from a woman who lives in Second-Street. She said, ‘The wind blew your notice down my driveway. I picked it up and realised I had seen your brooch.’
She found it on the pavement the day after I lost it, and placed it on the gatepost at number 2 Second-Street. ‘It might still be there,’ she said, hopefully.

It wasn’t.
I charged up First Street and down Second-Street in the pouring rain, but the gatepost was empty. I knocked on the door and an elderly man answered. ‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘It was on the gatepost for about a week, then around three days ago it disappeared.’
I was crestfallen. However, I gave him a copy of my notice, just in case it turned up.

Coming so close to finding it gave me a big pang. It was almost worse than the first loss.

But that’s when I started to notice something.
Now that it was decidedly lost, the brooch was more present than ever before.

For shining out of that brooch was my mother’s love. I could feel it, as if she were walking beside me. I remembered all the love that she put into the presents she gave each of her five children. Even though she was often worn out, she always gave us the warm glow from her loving heart.

I had lost the brooch and gained my mother.
I had lost the object, and gained the essence.

But there is one more part to the story. Are you cosy here in the firelight? Are you ready for the next, and final part? Soon you will hear it.


  1. Ruth P

    This is such a poignant aspect of Life, so beautifully put Juliet – how often an object, or activity, song or flavour represents relationships or meanings of great value in our lives! And it’s only when we can take time to unfurl some of these significant threads that we indeed ‘gain’ and recognize the more substantive element that Life is gifting us.

  2. juliet

    Ruth, I love your word ‘unfurl’. That’s exactly how is was. Thank you for visiting, and for this lovely comment.

  3. Friko

    yeeeeees, ready and waiting . . . . .

    After all tis, surely the ending must be truly happy, whatever it is.

  4. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – what an amazing turn of events .. and I love how you can feel your mother’s essence round you ..

    Great story telling .. cheers Hilary

  5. juliet

    * Friko, thanks for joining in the story. More very soon.

    * HIlary, glad you are enjoying it. It was an amazing turn of events indeed, and there’s more to come.

  6. Max

    “Even though she was often worn out, she always gave us the warm glow from her loving heart”. beautiful x

  7. Hotly Spiced

    This story has so many twists and turns. I can’t believe how close you came (on so many occasions) to recovering your brooch. Looking forward to the next installment xx

  8. juliet

    * Max and Charlie, nice to have you with me. Hang in there and all will be revealed. Thank you.

  9. Lynley

    I lack the firelight here but I am reading along waiting……..

    My Mum raised five children too and was often beyond exhaustion but always maintained that steadfast love.

    Paua shell offers such a myriad of colourings that shift and glimmer, mirroring the many gifts mothers offer to their children….the next installment please Juliet.

  10. juliet

    Lynley, thank you for joining in with the story. It sounds like we have some parallels here. Paua is still a magical shell to me.

  11. Penny O'Neill

    “I had lost the object, and gained the essence.” What rich words those are, Juliet, as well as your story. I look forward to hearing its end, and will be imagining the light and warmth of a fire.

  12. juliet

    Thank you Penny, and here comes the next and last part – just about to post it.


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