Saturday, August 9, 2014

Picking Up The Pieces

When Kim and I and the girls were packing up to move from Wisconsin to Virginia, we had boxes upon boxes in our garage.  All were labeled so we could find things easily when we arrived and began unpacking.  At some point, one of the piles must have gotten too high or perhaps it leaned a little too far and got off balance and it toppled over with a crash.  We knew something had shattered because we had heard it as we sat inside the house.  It was loud and ugly.


Sure enough, one of the boxes had fallen over and the label said, ‘Fragile’.  Heartsick, we opened it up and one of the antique plates Kim had received from her grandmother had shattered.  Just too many pieces to fix. 




So Kim and I Picked Up The Pieces and threw them away.  We repacked the box, taped it up, and restacked it making sure that there were no other leaning towers.


I had written a post titled Tattered And Torn and in it, I explained that once you have something broken, it really will never be the same.  Someone might hurt you, and that someone might apologize, and even if or when the apology is accepted, the relationship might not ever be the same.


My family and I, along with many, many others are busy Picking Up The Pieces.  I think we will be doing this for a long, long time.  I’m thinking that we’ll probably be Picking Up The Pieces closer to forever.


A dear friend of mine described the feeling she had when her son was taken.  She said that there is a hole that can’t be filled, won’t be filled and that her family will never be fully whole.  Seems to describe the Lewis Family exactly.


I’ve been asked to comment on gun laws.  I’ve been asked to comment on gang violence.  I’ve been asked to describe what I’m feeling.  I absolutely will not now or ever talk about gun laws or gang violence.  No way.  However, I can and will talk about how I feel.


I feel as though a piece of me has been ripped away and tossed aside.  I watch my two daughters struggle and cry.  I watch them in their silence, their stillness and I know and feel their anger.  Both long to talk to Wil, to spend time with him.  One has begun a journal each time she wants to talk to him.  Both, perhaps Emily more so, are anxious about the first day of school.  I know how that feels. 


I watch and listen to Kim and know that perhaps a mother suffers in her own unspeakable, inexplicable way.  We comfort each other as best we can, in our own way.


There are times when there is silence.  A whole lot of silence.  Sometimes comfortable, sometimes not so much.


But each of us, Kim, and Hannah, and Emily, and I know that we must Pick Up The Pieces as best we can and move on, move forward.  There will be emptiness.  There will forever be a hole that no one and nothing can fill.  There will be times when each of us break down and disappear physically, mentally and emotionally.


But in the long run, we Pick Up The Pieces and recognize that life is to be lived.  Wil would have wanted it this way.  He would have wanted us to move forward, to move on, to get along with it. So in his honor, I will live life as best I can by moving forward, by finding laughter in little things and in big things, to rediscover the wonder and beauty that life holds for us each day, and in each minute of each day. 


I recognize that I’ve stated and restated this again and again, especially of late, but I feel it is worth the repetition: we need to love those who are near to us, those close to us, and even those far away from us.  We need to make sure they know they are loved and needed and wanted.  We need to seize and live in the moment.  We can never, ever put off for another day the mention of “I love you!” because that moment might never happen.  Pick Up The Pieces and move forward.  Please.  Right now.  Something to think about . . .


Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!


To my readers:

If you’re looking for a fun fiction read, an intense fiction read, please check out my debut novel Taking Lives on Amazon for only 99 cents.  It is the prequel to my trilogy and it has received four reviews out of four of a Five Star Rating.  It can be found at:



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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe