“The Missing Piece”
Piece: A part broken or separated from the whole. It is any single thing, a specimen, a piece of music. Piecing: To add pieces to as in repairing, to join together pieces.
I haven’t taken time to write a blog for some time. The pieces just don’t fit together with summer here and all the activities to enjoy. Winter stayed too long with our last snow storm May 2, 2013. Spring and summer arriving very late. In a farm community that is not the right combination. Concerns turn to prayers now that the crops are in that could get in.
Puzzles are joined pieces together. While my father was in our care we put puzzles together. My brother had completed many in the past and it became something that we all worked on while we spent our time with dad during his final days on earth. He shared with us the decision he made to no longer have any doctor appointments, diagnosis or treatment in October, 2012 and entered into Hospice care soon thereafter. He was very fortunate that his four children and a grandson and granddaughter could help care for him, lovingly in his home, until his death January 18, 2013. I enjoyed the time spent with my siblings. As our lives stay busy we don’t get together as often and I loved the time we had together caring for dad. I miss the connections.
Those puzzles completed allowed us to sit at the table and visit. Dad wasn’t much into the puzzle work. He would rather have a card game of huckley buck or 500 and that we did lots of. The puzzles would become a conversation piece and when we couldn’t find a piece we were sure it was missing. Then the next day it would appear. Friends and family would stop by to visit with dad and usually try to find a piece. Two wild life pictures were completed and mounted. The final puzzle we hesitated to start because we knew that it would probably not get completed in dad’s time. However, we started it anyway. “Nothing like a Jonathan” by Robert Duncan was given to us by a cousin. The picture of two little boys picking apples and their dog reminded her of the family dog, Patsy, that we grew up with and my two little brothers. Dad, the missing piece, shows up often in thought. My daughter misses him awful and my son is caring for his land with a difficult spring.
The day of dad’s funeral service I rolled up the pieces completed in felt and moved them to my home. I enjoyed working on it in the parlor by a nice sunny south window in the middle of winter. As I completed sections I realized that I had a “missing piece”. The color I needed just wasn’t among the remaining pieces. It really was missing. Somewhat how it felt this past Sunday, Father’s Day, with dad no longer with us. He is now a missing piece of our family.
When I completed the puzzle I decided I wanted to mount it. I made a piece from the cover of the box, with just the right color, and carefully shaped it to the missing piece. It is visible but if you didn’t know the piece was missing you may not catch it. My husband got the board ready while I worked on getting the piece cut out just so with the correct color and shape. We bought the right puzzle glue and the project finished. A few days later, while vacuuming, my husband said “guess what I found?” I knew what room he was in and I knew what he had found. I said “the puzzle piece.” It was the puzzle piece. Now I keep the missing piece in my desk drawer and every time I open the drawer I see the piece and I think of dad. A belated Happy Father’s Day to you dad. You are missed by your children, grandchildren and friends. God Bless you.