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After reading Erin's recent post, I was inspired to write this one...
Every other year we spend a week at the beach with my family. It's a full house and chaotic at times, but it's wonderful. It's become a tradition to do a big puzzle together during the week. This year my dad got us a 1000 piece puzzle of chocolates (see picture on the right :)). We worked on the puzzle all week. Not all of us, not all at the same time. Just little bits here and there. Sometimes we'd have "puzzling" sessions. It got competitive at times. Finally we got down to the end - it was intense. Imagine the horror at the end when - there were 5 pieces missing! Picture it - 4 adults literally crawling around on the ground. Combing the carpet for pieces. Looking under chair and table legs. Desperate. "FOUND ONE", one of us would shout when we found one of the treasured missing pieces. All but one was found. One piece - gone.
I began to think of our experiences as puzzling. When we start out with our dream, we have the cover to the puzzle box right in front of us. We have it in close sight - it's what we are setting out to create with all the pieces set out before us. First we methodically turn all the pieces over and sort them - edge pieces from middle pieces - and so on and so forth. Some pieces come together easily and quickly, while others we just can't seem to figure out. Sometimes we get so frustrated with one part of the puzzle that we abandon it for a period of time so that we can work on a different part. Sometimes we search and search for a piece that we swear should be easy to find, and we cannot for the life of us find it - and then someone else finds the piece on the table with all the others the next day - it had been there all along. This is life - this is how we get through - putting the puzzle of our life together - this is how we puzzle. All of us here on Share have lost pieces to our puzzle that we will never find. We often don't know how they got lost, but they did. We can search all we want, but we won't find them. They're not there. Sometimes we can't accept this and we keep looking, knowing we won't find these pieces, but hoping that if we just look hard enough, there they will be.
The thing is - even with the missing pieces, our puzzles are still beautiful. We have been forced to come to terms with having missing pieces, and it can seem unfathomable at times. So unfair that we want to scream it off the rooftops. We may think our puzzles look frightful or broken in their incomplete states. Sometimes all we can see is that empty space staring at us. It keeps us from seeing the beauty of the rest of the puzzle and prevents us from putting all the rest of the pieces together. But that's the best we can possibly do at that moment in time, is just stare at that space and long to fill it. Other times we feel like we can take in the beauty of the full picture - empty space and all. We know that space is still empty, and will remain that way, but we don't let that paralyze us and prevent us from moving on toward making our puzzle the most beautiful picture we can.
Each of us on Share have a unique puzzle. Some of us have more missing pieces than others, but nonetheless, we all get what it's like to have a missing piece. We support each other as we complete our own puzzles. When one is having a hard time, someone jumps in and helps by offering a hand- "have you tried this piece here"? We are all forced to be expert puzzlers. I feel incredibly lucky to be traveling this incredibly difficult journey with all of you by my side. Share was there when I lost a huge piece to my puzzle - my Marco. Share was there that day, and you have been there ever since. Through the good days and the bad. The sorrows and the triumphs. You were there when I completed one of the most difficult sections of my puzzle - having my rainbow baby Lucia. I can't imagine where I'd be now without Share. I definitely don't think I would have been as far along on my puzzle as I am now, that's for sure.
I can't wait for the end of September when I get to see all my fellow puzzlers - the amazing people who make Share what it is. If you have never been to Share Union and are considering going, all I can say is that it is so very worth it. It's a chance like no other - a chance to be surrounded by love and support for an entire weekend - people who you don't have to explain a darn thing about your puzzle to.
Marco - your story is a beautiful section of my puzzle. You are the missing piece. You slipped away from me. How - I will never understand. That space will always be empty. I don't know that I will ever be able to fully accept that, my love. I continue to work on completing my puzzle the best that I can every day. Thank you for leading me to this wonderful group of people who have helped me so much.
That's such a great way of putting it!!! I think I must have one of those puzzles that has a picture on both sides. You know the ones that you can't figure out which side to use..... Yep--I'm convinced of it! Thank goodness I have ya'll to help me figure out those "fits".
Im so glad that you And SHARE are a part of my puzzle!!!
I love this way of looking at life. Such an interesting way to look at it. It made me cry picturing my puzzle, really each of our puzzles, with the missing pieces and thinking about what those missing pieces represent.
Tears, tears, and a few more tears. Libby this is so very very perfectly put. I'm in awe. I so love when the mundane in life open up these huge windows of understanding and help put words to things that too often go unexplained.
Thank you so very much for giving me words to illustrate my feelings.
So much love,
Libby, I had tears reading this. Okay, I cannot read Share entries in public places anymore. It so perfectly explains what this journey has been like, what is, and what will forever be - a puzzle that will always be a work in progress. With Mr T's diagnosis, I see the puzzle piece symbol a lot and I have a warmer as well. I love how you wrote that at times others would offer other pieces (help) to see if they'd fit better:) So sweet!
This is such an amazing entry. You are so right! Life is very similar to working a large puzzle. I had never thought about it that way before though. I too can't wait to hug my fellow puzzlers in real life.
What a moving and insightful post... I agree with Sam. I am so very glad that you are a part of my puzzle too. I don't know what my life would be like without all of my Share peeps in it! I don't even want to begin to imagine.
Love and Hugs,
I love reading your writing. You make the simplest comparisons and make it them mind blowing. I'm so sad to be missing SU this year. You're right- I don't know where I'd be without all my SHARE friends who have supported me through so much uncertainties. I hope you have a wonderful time in September, remembering Marco with everyone who cares so much.
Thanks for posting this awesome message. It really hit a chord! ...Julie
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