As I listen to the Carpenter's "Close To You", a song that brings back memories of attending weddings when I was a child & dancing with my grandma ("a piece") with my feet on her feet, I want to share something from this weekend's funeral services for my colleague's almost 23 yr old daugther who died from the Chicago train accident the weekend before.
A number of years ago, someone dear to me, ("a piece") described the passing of someone I loved as a missing piece of my puzzle in my life. I have talked about these before: pieces in my life, completing puzzles, becoming a dragonfly, and bells are ringing for the new angel. This weekend I smiled thinking of him when someone read the story below at the cemetery. He was right but more than just your life...your HEART! I wanted to share this story with all of you in case you were like me & had not heard it before. Makes me feel a bit better that my heart may look like a jigsaw puzzle. It may take a lot for me to give a chunk of it, but when I do, it is a pretty big chunk! :-) It also really confirms the best way to heal a broken heart is through LOVE! As I mentioned before the best way to receive love is to give it, and love can be in soooo many forms: prayers, encouragement, a simple email with a smile, and anything really that is in their best interest, even if it may not always be in our own.
I did not find an author for this story, so if anyone knows please let me know so I can provide credit! I hope you like it.
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.
A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The people stared - how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?
The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.
Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges - giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.
The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.
They embraced and walked away side by side.