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Whenever you drop a glass or a plate, it shatters into pieces. There they lie, all jagged and in different shapes and sizes. There are even some pieces that are so small that they could never be glued back into place and can only be swept up and thrown away.

When we encounter a great loss of someone we care about, or an unfortunate event in our lives, our heart and soul shatter into pieces. There they lie, right there in front of us. The pieces are there 'just not all together. How do we get back to the way things were or how do we regain the past so that we can enjoy it yet another day? You can't bring back the past, nor can you set things back the way they were. The important thing to remember is that all the pieces are there. We need to pick them up and glue them together. It is because all the pieces are there that we can look forward and that our lives will continue.

The past is just that 'the past. If we focus on the future, we miss the joys and opportunities of today. Today is freedom to be and to heal. Refusing to believe in the concept of impossible is the glue that we use to mend and to fix what shatters in our daily lives. Memories are a joy, and a comfort. If they are good memories, then we are better for having experienced them. If they are far from perfect, they opened our minds and hearts to the reality that life is not perfect, but it is there for us to learn from, and move ahead. Also, you must let go of the things you cannot control. Holding on to the reins that are not yours will never give you the peace and serenity that you have a right to. You can only fix what you can, and believe that others will do the same in their own time and way.

When your day is less than perfect, or some tragic event shatters your world, take the time to give it some thought. Actions are good and necessary but if you take the time to examine the situation, then the right actions will follow. Rushing into anything because of hurt feelings, grief, or heartache is like crushing a flower because tomorrow it may fade. The possibility exists that tomorrow may be a stellar day for this flower and bees and birds may partake of its nectar and the pollen they carry is the promise of a tomorrow.

Surely hurt feelings and heartaches do just that 'hurt. We can, however, take all the pieces and put them together. No, it will never be exactly as it was before it broke, but it will be. It was a part of yesterday, and today is a new day leading to the future. The pieces glued together let us know that there is a continuity no matter what happens, and the crack marks are a reminder that nothing is permanent. The tiny impossible to pick up pieces belong to the wind and the breeze of reflection will carry them away to become a part of the universe. Everything has its purpose and when it breaks, we put it together as best we can, place it in a very special place, and open the door to step into tomorrow.

Hurts heal, tears dry up, and feelings mend. Hearts are miraculous in that they never forget but they do forge ahead. With each day, memories are more golden and heartaches lose their sting. You need patience and like that old saying, 'Give me patience and right now!' doesn't work. Its using each day to mend, to forget and to look ahead that really counts. People are miracles looking for somewhere to happen. You can be encouragement to others and heal your own heart. A person can face each day bravely and the night rewards you with rest. With a little effort and a whole lot of courage, our broken plate becomes a marker to separate the past from today. It will always be there but it has a new mission, an opportunity to become a memory. Ah, memories are what golden dreams are made of. They are the glitter and shine of the past, and the glow of tomorrow. Cherish them and love each and every one of them. The path to the future will be well lit and a joy to travel.
- Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June

Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, booklets, and the novel: Searching for Austin James

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