Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Last Piece

Over Christmas I decided to do a couple puzzles as therapy. My good friend, Michele Cushatt says, "it’s cheap two dollar therapy." She’s right. I needed to chill and this was it.

When I work on a puzzle, I always comment to my husband, “…the company didn’t pack all the pieces…I’m missing some.” 

Of course I'm not. I just say it to bug him. And make his eyes roll.

But this year, when I finished the puzzle, I was missing a piece. It was a new puzzle, just taken it out of the box to work on it, so it wasn’t one of my kids or my lack of putting things away. 

There was a piece missing. I looked everywhere…around the table, on the floor, under chairs, etc. Jeff even helped me look. Nothing.

So it’s been sitting on the dining room table for three weeks now because I need that piece to finish the puzzle. 





I can’t put it away. It’s not finished! So there it sits. An eye sore on my dining room table. 

I’ve been struggling lately with too much driving. A good part of my day is spent driving to school, picking up and sports related activities. Because we are split schools right now, that car time has only increased and so has my stress level. I’m not getting to do my daily tasks of laundry or dishes as much as I should and my house looks like a hoarder’s house. Piles everywhere. I've basically dropped out of all my social groups, no activity except...driving. It's preventing me from helping my mom, preventing me from meeting my writing goals and keeping me from getting the exercise I need to keep my arthritis at bay.

It’s been happening since September, and though I try, I haven’t been able to keep up with everything. Add family health complications and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m upset that things keep happening that are not in my control. I’m upset that friends are dying. I’m upset that I need to help my mother with her brother and don't have the time to do it properly. I’m tired of driving when I think things could be easier. And they could. And I’m tired of blaming people who could help resolve the situation but don’t. I’m cranky and I’m mad. I want a clean house and to be organized. To get back to “normal.”

Yesterday I looked at the dining room table. The puzzle was sitting there like an eye sore. I walked over to it. I once again looked all around for the missing piece. No luck.

And right there and then, God said, “Yep. No luck.”


“You’re not gonna get resolution in the way you want, Loretta.”


“Because life isn’t always neat and tidy.”

But I try so hard Lord.

“Put the puzzle away.”

But it’s not done!

“You are not going to have closure on this puzzle and you’re not gonna get closure with these circumstances.”


“Get over yourself. The missing puzzle piece is a lesson.”


“There is no peace in this world. It is only through Me you will receive peace.”

I’m talking about piece, not peace.

“Ha ha ha. So am I. I will give you peace if you let go of that piece.”

I don’t know if I can.

“That is your choice. But no piece, no peace.”

I think God thinks He’s funny. He’s right. He is.

I’m putting the puzzle away. 

I need the last peace.


Anonymous said...

Everything you write is so great! Here's my guess: the missing piece is under the assembled puzzle pieces.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic and oh so timely for me.
(there's a puzzle on MY dining room table too)

Michele Cushatt said...

Yes. I need the last peace. Beautiful.

Terri Lane said...

Ah that really took me back to the days when Dakota was in Jr. High and Dalton was at Mullen and not yet driving. I seemed to spend the majority of my time driving and less and less time cleaning, cooking etc...
Wow, I really miss those days now. I got to spend time with my boys on those drives and sometimes we even talked! In those days, I could drive whenever and wherever I wanted/needed without worrying about getting sick or having to pull over to close my eyes because my brain is doing things to my vision. I really, really miss those days, and I think that someday, you will too. If only because your kids will be driving themselves and those moments in the car that used to make you crazy just won't happen anymore. Time fixes everything, and that is great until you realize that time changes everything and we may get a bit nostalgic about those crazy, hectic drives that drove us crazy. <3

Loretta Oakes said...

Ladies, thanks for your comments. Terri...I hear you. I've been treasuring those moments with each child as I get them. Helen....I looked! Susan...that's all I needed to know. Michele...thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am honored that we got to hear this story straight from the author's mouth. I look forward to your next installment. You are a great role model for me in that you listen to God. Thanks, A
soccer Mom that would rather be a runners Mom!

Eloisa Dudok said...

I'm with Helen. I'm uruguayan, so I can't understand something. What's the main idea? Thanks for your words. I think we should think that more times a day. Congrats. Eloisa