I sometimes struggle with the idea of being broken. First of all, we are all broken in different ways. I used to say, “no one gets out of this world alive.” What I meant by that was that everyone has their “stuff.” Years ago, I used to think I was the only one that had issues to deal with. I then became a charge nurse at work, and boy I figured out I was wrong.
If you are old enough to remember Lucy and her .5 cents for psychiatric advice, you would kind of know what I am talking about. At my desk, I would sit at a couple times a week, it even had a little window you could slide shut at one point, I would give my .5 cents worth of advice and counsel for whatever it was worth. A charge nurse not only makes sure the floor they are working on runs well, but they look after the basic welfare of their co-workers while they work. You would be given confidential information that wasn’t really for management to deal with, and then you would have to discern what was best for the department and your co-worker without breaking their confidentiality.
I would have co-workers with sick children or spouses, injuries to work around, some personality conflicts and other issues that would come up during the day. As I sat back one day I realized everyone was dealing with something. One person has a husband working out of state, one has adult children living with her that she helps support, another takes care of her aging parents on her days off, one was awaiting a total joint surgery, someone else also has a learning disabled child to care for at home. We all come to work with our stuff and we set it aside to get the job done, but on occasion, they need help making that happen. That’s when I knew that everyone was dealing with something. Some of us a little more or less or different than the other person.
Some of us have more “stuff” than others, and sometimes our “stuff” is unlike anyone’s around us. I know in my case, I found it unbearable to share how I was feeling verbally with others around me and I began writing. I have no idea why I can write so openly about my deepest feelings more than I can talk about them. My husband had a great statement this morning, “no matter where this all leads you, it’s doing something, it’s not doing nothing.”
I thought about being broken. I have been broken as if I were smashed, stepped on and swept up and discarded. That is how broken I have felt with my loss. I am so broken that I feel like I walk around as a whole person, that has been glued back together and repainted, only to have the surface scratched daily to reveal my brokenness. The only thing that helps is the knowledge that I still have a purpose, that I will see my daughter again, and that I do not walk this road alone.
Today is 14 months since the loss of my daughter. It honestly is like a blink of an eye. When I need a few minute mental reprieves, I think about how she could be studying abroad or on a mission trip. I guess she is, there’s just no way to text or track her on her GPS like find my iPhone. I know that I will carry her with me every day and in all things I do. I know that most people that have lost someone close to them, like a child or a spouse, feel the same way.
Yesterday I listened to my pastor take about the miracle of feeding the 5,000 with 5 loves of bread and 2 pickled herrings. To feed the masses he broke the bread. It was only broken bread that was blessed and used to feed 5,000 men and their wives and children. We discussed in our group, how in history and in the bible, how broken people were always the people that went on to do extraordinary things. I don’t blame God for my brokenness, I know we live in a broken world. I do believe that he takes broken things, blesses them, and uses them for so much more than we can imagine.
Below is a song shared in our group about the story of feeding the masses and being broken.
Going through my daughter’s things I ran into the issues of her boots. They were her prized possessions. She loved her Doc Martins and her Timberlines. The problem was no one in our family wore that size and I didn’t want to just give them away. I decided to make planters out of them for her closest family and friends. I started with the boots with the broken sole.
To make these planters I took a pair of boots that were no longer going to be worn. These had a large tear in the bottom. I took out the inside lining and then drilled a few drainage holes in the bottom. I spayed the outside of the shoe with waterproofing spray and filled with a seasonal plant. You can keep inside the plastic container or fill the boot with potting soil. I attached a laminated memorial tag to one and cardstock message to another. You can cover the cardstock in clear tape to waterproof it also.