“I think I take pieces of people with me.”
Figuratively, of course.
I spoke those words to a school counselor early in high school. I remember picturing little specks of multi-colored glass in the palm of my hand. Each tiny fragment represented a memory or feeling; some were big and sharp but others small and smooth. No one could see this glistening collection, but I knew it was there; the broken pieces somehow made me whole.
I celebrated my birthday this past Friday and I couldn’t help but appreciate this memory. I am still a people-piece collector today. Back in high school ev-er-y-thing was a crisis. Though I had my fair share of not-your-average high school problems, I pulled through and became better despite the difficulty. Many years later, when adversity reared it’s nasty head yet again, I wasn’t ready – by any means – but I definitely was stronger; an army of lessons-learned and feelings-felt was protecting my heart.
We are all broken.
We all carry pieces of memories-past in our pockets.
If we take the time to look at each speck, we will realize that the good in our lives undoubtedly outweighs the bad.
A little while back, I went in for a scheduled waxing. It was of a “personal” nature, which I will spare all of you – and my mother – the details. I was chit-chatting with the esthetician and we somehow got on the subject of Aiden. I noticed her body language shift. Brandishing a hot wax applicator in one hand and a tissue in the other, I watched her dab the corners of her eyes. As she removed hair from skin she shared the story about how she lost her baby girl. Amidst remnants of sticky, orange wax and worn cloth strips we hugged. Mother-to-mother, stranger-to-stranger and esthetician-to-client, we shared pieces of ourselves that day.
I am proud to be broken.
I am one made up of many.
My family, friends, even complete strangers make whole.
To the greeter at Walmart who watched my cart o’diapers while I ran my tantrum-wielding-toddler to the car, thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. To the usher at church who always offers me a smile, even when mommy-brain (and timing) effects my punctuality, thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. To the stranger I “danced” – and wholeheartedly laughed – with at the grocery store while trying to walk past, thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. To the cashier at Panera who always takes the time to ask my child about his day, thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.
As we get older birthdays signify much more than presents and frills, they offer a time to reflect and cherish. Life is in abundance of good moments for those who are willing to seek them out. Stop and take the time to really see the world around you. Take a piece of the people you meet and offer a piece of yourself in return. After all, life isn’t about being put-together, it is about being broken.
~ My Birthday Weekend In Review~