One morning while the tired new family was trying to recover in the hospital, we decided that they did not need any visitors: they just needed to rest. (Of course, we know there is no rest to be found in a hospital!) B and I made a plan to go to the beach for the morning. We drove out to Vilano. A storm had come through the night before with crazy winds and waves. The tide had run high and we found four of these perfect (dead) sea stars at the high tide line. In the bright light of the sunshine, they appeared black and tan. Once we had them in the car, we could tell they were actually purple instead of black.
They dried on the dashboard over the next few days, without even a trace of an unpleasant odor. The colors faded but they are still lovely. As we left our son and his new little family, I gave him one of the sea stars and told him it might be a keepsake found when our little star was born.