Sometimes when I look back on the past it feels like a beautiful crystal bowl that was dropped and shattered.
It shattered the day my husband died.
The last 11 years of my life included my love, so every memory somehow includes him. When I pick up each piece to remember it, it is beautiful, somehow even more precious, but its edges are sharp and they hurt.
Sometimes they cut me and I bleed.
And every day I am reminded:
My life is no longer a beautiful crystal bowl.
I did not even know that is what we were creating. When you look at the tiny pieces, the little memories that make up an era of your life it all makes sense how it became complete. But when you are in the midst of making it you don't even realize what you are making. Now don’t assume my bowl was perfect—no, it was not!
But it was mine, and it was lovely.
Its broken fragments are too precious to throw away. How easy it would be to sweep it all up and be done with it. If I didn’t have children I am pretty sure I would leave this town we made our home. This is the place where he grew up, where we fell in love, bought our home, raised our children, and are surrounded by family and friends. And this is also where he is buried.
Right now I still have all those precious, oddly shaped pieces strewn on the floor and I don’t know what to do with them.
Do I shut the door to where they fell and walk away?
Do I pick up the pieces? And hurt myself over and over and over again?
(….when will it stop hurting?)
How do I pick them up and not bleed?
(I am getting better at…so does practice make perfect?)
I know what I want.
I want to string the pieces and hang them in the light and create dancing rainbows around me.
I want my past to bring color and joy and stop cutting me.
I want a new beginning, I want the sun to shine just right through those prisms.
But can I begin again with my past swirling around me?
It is woven so intricately into my life I will never be able to run away.
Being that it is the Christmas season, these pieces are the sharpest. I want to shut the door so badly!!! But I have two sweet faces that count on traditions and normalcy. So for their sake I will have to be brave.
I will have to learn how to balance letting go and holding on.
This will take courage, and all I can do is hope the rainbows will be worth it.
This new art print is now available here.
12/10/2015 05:00:04 am
I know you painted this, but I swear it's a photo of you and Matt. It looks exactly like your silhouette. I wish I could give you a big hug right now! I keep you and the kids in my prayers. Lots of love, Brie
12/10/2015 05:25:55 am
Heatherlee I admire you bravery enormously. Your love and faith in Jesus Christ to keep you going is truly what we all should be striving for in times of trouble. Your are an incredible woman and your kids are lucky that they can grow up following your strong examples of faith and love.
12/10/2015 09:03:07 am
Matts neck was thicker than that!! ;) God i wish i could talk to him. Even just once more. Im so sorry heatherlee. You deserve better than being a young, widowed mom. I know matt didnt wanna go. So so sorry. :(
Hi heather, a mutual friend of mine shares your post on Facebook. I wanted to comment and say that I am so sorry for your loss. Grief is so hard, I know it well. Though it can be beautiful, to remember and honor the source of our pain, it hurts more than anything I've ever experienced. I definitely identified and connected with this post and look forward to reading more of your insights. Thank you for sharing your heart. <3 Praying hope continually finds it's way into your heart and home.
12/10/2015 04:31:59 pm
You are a poet/narrator (like Sandra Cisneros and Maya Angelou)! Such beautiful writing and such raw emotions, but I keep thinking as I reflect on what you wrote: to get a polished rock, you have to rub it. The same with the pain of loss - right now, it is raw and ragged, but over time, it will become smooth and polished...and even more beautiful!
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I am a watercolor artist located in Southern California.