Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Picking up the Pieces

I found her sitting on the dirty floor of her garage, surrounded by pieces of broken pottery.  The family dishes stored away for her future use had fallen, and almost all had broken.  As tears ran down her face, she pointed to the shards and pieces and said, "This is my entire childhood, and it is broken."  I knew what she meant and I knew her tears were about more than broken dishes.

Courtesy of Sweet Pea Productions
Much like her dishes, our lives have shattered and broken.  Two years later, and we are still finding the broken pieces and trying to figure out what to do with them.  Broken promises, broken dreams, broken family, broken holidays, broken relationships, broken memories . . . the list of things broken is huge and sometimes threatens to overwhelm the fragile peace we currently enjoy.  Our past is being reframed and our future has taken an extreme turn; sometimes it feels expansive and full of promise, at other times it appears limited and without hope.

Picking up the pieces after an immense tragedy that has been likened to a life quake, is time consuming and draining.  My daughter's treasured dishes represent family meals when life appeared more idyllic, laughter and tears around the dinner table with loved ones and friends.  They are a reminder of that time when life seemed simple and predictable, when her dad appeared to be a safe person she could trust and she didn't have to fear law enforcement or even think about police reports, court transcripts or protective custody.  To her, they represent innocence, trust, security and stability--all things broken by her dad's arrest and incarceration.

Courtesy of Sweet Pea Productions
Together we bent and reverently picked up the intact pieces of her family treasures.  We packed them away in a safer place.  Maybe we will look at flea markets and online to replace the dishes so that she has a complete set for her future.  Maybe she will decide she doesn't need that.  But the broken pieces we are saving.  Together we will learn how to craft something new from them.  They are no longer useful in their current state--but they are still beautiful.  Maybe a mosaic tray or trivet?  Or maybe something we have yet to imagine.  But the pieces of our shared past are not to be destroyed--but to be respected and treasured.  Maybe we will value them more because they are broken or maybe we will one day decide that they are no longer important enough to keep lugging around.  But for now, we simply bend and pick up the pieces.

4 comments:

  1. What a beautifully written post. I just discovered your blog through Spiritual Sounding Board. You are doing a valuable service to others by sharing your story. May God continue to heal and restore you and your family through this painful ordeal.
    Jennifer

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  2. Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer

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  3. Hi Brenda, I found your blog through the Liberty for Captives blog. Your gentleness and honesty speak deeply to my own journey, though our circumstances are very different. Thank you for sharing in a way that helps empower me to deal with my own feelings of shame.

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  4. Thank you so much Lee Ann. Your kindness means so much.

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