A Puzzle

I think of life as a puzzle. Each step in your life is one piece. We do not know how many pieces there will be when our life is complete, but we add pieces daily.

Years ago, we had a minister who came to church with a box of puzzle pieces. We were instructed to each take one. When it came time for his sermon he referred to the piece of the puzzle that we each selected. Could anyone tell him what the puzzle was? We each examined our one piece to try to make a guess. It was impossible to come up with the whole picture since we each only had one piece.

It is the same with our own lives. As we add each piece of our own puzzle we cannot see the whole image that will become our life. When we think about our childhood the pieces are memorable in one way or another. For myself I see my grandparents in that puzzle as well as my mother. Each of these wonderful people played a part in my life.

My friends come to mind next. Throughout the years I have had a myriad of friends — some very close friends and some that were just acquaintances. Each of my friends played a part in my life.

Of course, my extended family comes to mind. I was very close to my cousins as I grew up. We did so many things together. I think of the cottage. While it was little more than a shelter from the storm it was a significant part of my life. I loved the cottage. I loved just being there away from all of the hubbub of life. All we had there was a radio. I remember trips to the lake with my bar of soap. Since there was no water at the cottage we bathed in the lake. None of us minded a bit. It was fun.

I recall some of my boyfriends. I actually had two minister’s sons that I called my boyfriends during this era. I remember that I was crushed when the first ones’ father was transferred to a church out of our area. The second one I was with longer. He even made me a bracelet when he went to summer camp — out of boondoggle. I cherished that bracelet as my first gift ever from a boy.

Working was another piece of my puzzle. I got a job in a family owned store. I was able to work all year long because my school term was in split sessions. I was done with school by noon and could go to work.

When I went to college I got another job in a store closer to the college. I could walk out in front of the main building and catch a bus to go to work. I worked there until I did my student teaching. You were not allowed to work while you did your student teaching so I had to quit.

People often want to know how I met the man I married. He and his friends came to the college town and we met at a restaurant. We talked a long time that first night and he made plans to call me for another date. I figured maybe that was just a line and I did not really expect a call but I got one. Everything progressed from that first meeting and a couple years later we married.

At that point, I became a farm wife. I added another piece to my puzzle when I moved to the farm. Farm life was different than I was used to, but I think I took to it quite well. Eventually I even took on writing articles about farms and farmers.

By now I had two children — two more pieces of my puzzle. I loved being a mother. I loved teaching them about nature and about life on the farm. The children grew and went to school. My how fast those days went by. Soon the children were off to college. At that point, we were empty nesters.

That all changed when the children moved back home to start their own families. We were back to being one big family. Next, came the grandchildren. I loved being a grandma. It was a challenge to care for the little ones that I fully embraced. I have been part of their lives as long as they have been alive.

With two of them off to college I miss them. They are doing what they should do but it is once again different. The youngest is involved in school sports and I attend as many games as possible. I have a seat to sit on the bleachers comfortably that I always have with me. More pieces of my puzzle.

I am an active senior who volunteers at the hospital and for hospice. I am at my best when I am doing for others and I am smart enough to realize that. I have friends that I have traveled with. I have friends and relatives that have welcomed me into their homes to visit. Those visits meant a lot to me just after my husband died.

I am still adding pieces to my puzzle. My puzzle will not be complete until I breathe my last breath. The sum total of my life will not be revealed until I am gone.

Everyone has a story. You all have a puzzle that you are still putting together. Think of each piece that you add as something special. Make your puzzle the best that you can be.