I remember the little cardboard cylinders our parents would buy for us from the five and dime when we were kids. I’d pick one up and look in one end while light entered from the other. Always fascinating to me, I realized that a beautiful mosaic was created no matter which way the tube was moved. The result was always the same….different patterns and designs, but always beautiful, as the tiny flecks continuously rearranged themselves to create an awesome, symmetrical work of art.

I guess, without even thinking about it, I had figured my life would be the same. My husband and me and our three kids would continuously rearrange ourselves, sliding comfortably next to each other as time passed. As we all changed and our world turned around us. And the end result would always be the same. Different patterns and designs, but always beautiful, as it should be. But it can never be again.

I’m aware of what I need to do each day. I tailor my thoughts, playing mind games, frequently throughout each and every day.  Encouraging myself, as others do, to keep my head above the water, my eyes turned toward the light. But it is not so easy. No day is ever easy. I can, at times, see with bright eyes the light from the other side, and I can structure my thoughts to be conscious of the beauty around me….”be aware of the beauty of this earth, and of love given and received, and treasure the joys of life.” But at other times, times which are never predetermined, I simply cannot look through that chamber. Instead of seeing the beautiful design, the symmetrical work of art, the perfect pattern within, I know my eyes will see no light coming from the other side. What I will see will be only the black space that should be occupied by Ben, my first-born, my baby. Reflected back at me will be a void, as large as I feel alone, where Ben should be. Everything else will be filtered through that void. And the beauty around me will be muted….as I miss Ben with every breath I take.



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