The crumbs of yesterday…

Little red boots… purchased over 22 years ago, and worn by three beloved children..

Disheveled laces, scuffs on the toes, and oh the many places they have stepped upon. Puddles, and snow drifts, dog poop, and mud, they have been scrubbed, and windexed, tied , and undone, and still they sit, bright red, a lot used, but having carried 6 priceless feet that have left a mighty imprint upon this Mothers’ heart.

There are items that I just cannot bear to throw away.. Christmases past, kids wearing the appropriate attire to church concerts, school plays, and lots of motion pictures running through my mind of days that are no more.

Posing for group family photos, attempting to get all of your children smiling at the same time.. and failing miserably…

This is family life… messy..irreverent, unexpected, and yet… beautifully yours…this is a unique, one of a kind life experience..

Giving away , and sorting through clothing worn by your people is tear rendering work. Listening to your grown male children as they try to make sense of their cousin no longer being in the house with them, or on the planet with them.

Trying desperately to make sense of the most shocking and earth shattering news.. It just does not settle.  How could it?

A dear friend shared some of his experiences about suicide, and gave me some valuable insight into this devastating occurrence.. He referred to it as ” death by suicide,” which I’m beginning to see creates such a different reaction in my head instead of saying ” committed suicide.”

The phenomenon of stringing different words together, that somehow make this horror more palatable to ingest… is much that I appreciate , and I welcomed him sharing his insight, and experiences trudging through this bog of despair of suicide.

While it’s beyond to even know how to move on past this, people somehow have, and do.. together, by sharing your persons’ life, and loving them while your heart is flattened by the grief of loss you press on.

Christmas time brings up lots of past shared family times, that you cradle in your memory, but when there is one less beloved family member sitting at the table,  and their spot is like a wound upon your being,  the only way through this heart break is second by second. There is no rule book on how to navigate, no compass as to where true north lies; just the reality that you ache.

The snow falls, and all around you becomes silent…and still… and brilliantly white… the below is covered, and you can make believe that all is well, and become lost in the what was before… just for a moment.

The aftermath of living in the house where the person was, becomes excruciating… intolerable.

Courage, and gentle helping hands are required to guide , make nourishment, hug your body, and just be still…

Sitting with another, and just listening, and holding their hand.

Then comes the crash.. when you wake up and realize that all is not well, but it is reality, and the finding of how to cope  with  what is today, and not yesterday… for it is past, and cannot be recaptured, or reinvented, no matter how much we wish it could be.

I slid on the ice yesterday. I applied the brakes, but I kept sliding into the intersection. I was out of control, powerless to stop.. until I did.. But then came the next unexpected smash… and I was hit from behind.. He couldn’t stop either, and so there we were, two souls connected by our battered cars, in a way we didn’t want, but it was happening, whether we wanted it to or not.  An accident we call it, but was it or were we destined to meet up this way in an intersection of our lives?

This young man was just 20 years old, and he reminded me of my sons. My heart went out to him as I exited my car. He was so young.

The day was bitterly cold, and it was entirely possible that I was wearing not an appropriate winter coat.  I had no gloves, or hat for that matter, and what struck me was how polite this young guy was.

He profusely apologized for running into the back of my car with his  vehicle, and then asked if I wanted a hat? Only in Canada would a person be this gentile after an accidental meeting of machinery on a cold winters’ morn.

His parents raised a thoughtful, kind and gentle son.

Well done them.  I salute them .

He was on his way to work, and I was on my way to see Joyce, and see to her breakfast, and be with her as she began her day.

Plans changed, as they do  when unforeseen happenings occur.

After I called the police, and the two of us exchanged our insurance information, and parted ways, I was bewildered. I know I put the car back in drive , and headed up the road where I had originally intentioned to go, but I kinda forget that next part in between. This is what being in shock looks like. I often feel like I may have   been  living in this  perpetual state for this last few years of my existence. 

I didn’t realize until I was driving in my car that my left knee hurt.. I must have jammed it into the steering column… I can’t recall.

The sound of crunching snow under the wheels of my car reminded me to go slowly, no matter what other motorists were doing. I made my way along the road, and as I looked to my right I saw that a bus and truck with a tractor trailer had collided, and become conjoined in the street.  this was not  the Monday morning we were expecting.

I arrived at Joyce and Don’s house, and found her making coffee, and getting her breakfast , and putting her strawberry jam onto her toast. She was wearing her red polka dot jammies, and looked well rested.

She had thought that I had slept in..

I started to recount my story, and she immediately came over and sat on my lap, and gave me a big hug, as I gave way to my tears. She is a petite lady, with an extra large heart.  I just cried on her shoulder, and she held me, and patted my back.

She responded with..

” let it out dear, you have needed a good cry..”

It often feels like if you allow the tears to flow, they may never stop..but.. they need to be shed, the sorrow needs to be released, the hurt has to be felt. There is no way around the grief except to be in it. There is no escape, but there is comfort from our fellow travelers on this earth, if we allow our broken parts to show.

Joyce and I went and sat together on the brown leather loveseat in her den. The fire was burning a lovely orange glow, and we shared a cup of coffee, and read the Bible together, and prayed.. it was what was needed.

It takes a collision sometimes to make a person realize how much they need to let go. The illusion of control, and how tightly we hang on shifts inexplicably, when we crash.

Having those people in the aftermath of a traumatic event to lean on is crucial. We were not intended to carry our burdens alone. They are too heavy. We need each other like we require oxygen. It’s critical to our well being to let others into our messy head space.

I like the term ” beautiful mess.” It is appropriate when it comes to life.

It reminds me of how my kids used to wrap gifts when they were younger. Lots of crunched up paper, way too much tape, but the look of pride and expectation in their glowing eyes as they watched you unwrap it. The thought and care they had put into their present.. it was a beautiful mess that was precious beyond words.. because they had done that act of love for you.. it doesn’t get any better than that..

Loving each other through the unexpected is the gift that keeps us breathing forward into each new day, and grows our wings beneath us that raises us up to heights we never could have reached if we flew solo.

5 thoughts on “The crumbs of yesterday…

  1. You’ve had a fender bender since seeing u?? O my, I have been praying for and thinking alot about your boys, and Holly…must add to my morning prayer “and keep Jill SAFE this day!” My jar of pickles sits on my table…they blend so well with my fall/thanksgiving center piece, but its Christmas time! Ive had people over and decided to KEEP that center piece. Its you and its Holly and it reminds me to remain thankful for all of us who have been left here to comfort each other thro LIFE! We, the blessings who remain. YES indeed, there is comfort from our fellow travelers if we allow our broken parts to show…praying for you, your mom, Hollys family and your boys this day AND thro this season!


    1. Hi Shannon… you are one of a kind! So thoughtful and loving.. thank you for your prayers. A girl can never have too many of those… yes “Vivie the Volvo” is a little crunched on her back right fender… poor ole gal.. I can’t take her to see Denise lookin like that… she would be appalled 😯I love ❤️ that the pickles are your centerpiece.. perhaps you could string Christmas lights on them to decorate for the season. We shall have to get together again soon .


      1. Great idea mini lights around the jar! I am saving, salavating and savoring them for the new year! Its my “bottle” for the occasion! Yes indeed, whilest we live in the same city let us continue the latte chats!


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