Tuesday, October 19, 2010

52 card pick-up...

Louie L’Amour once wrote, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” (Maggie, did a beautiful post incorporating these very words here.)

Do you remember learning the hard way what the card game "52 card pickup" really entailed?  You eagerly accept the chance to play a brand new to you game?  And then you watch, dumbfounded as the cards twirl to the ground in messy disarray, and you picking them up isn't such a fun game to play?  I just remember how obsessed I was in organizing the cards into suits to be sure I had found them all.  Something about cards and order have always married well in my head.

Dad's illness and passing this summer, were like a giant game of 52 card pickup.  After Dad's funeral, I remember how desperately I wanted to get back to my "normal."  The routine of a SAHM and the daily household activities I thought would be a solace somehow to a battered spirit.

But, I am finding lately, my cards won't go back into the deck in their proper order. I was invited to join a mail art group, and envisioned myself sitting at the table creating pieces of mail art to send the world over... except I haven't.  Instead of sitting still for very long, I've found myself wanting to be active, wanting to leave home, instead of stay home.

When the EMHE show came to town, I leapt at the opportunity.  I wanted to do, to be, to have, instead of contentedly watching it all from the sidelines.  Its not my "normal."  

Last weekend we kicked off our hockey season with a hockey social. In the past, I was happy to attend and socialize, but when the music came up and the lights went down, and the floor filled with everyone dancing, I was ready to leave. I'd left that chapter behind, it was finished.

But there I was this last Friday, and I am not saying it was a sight to behold, but I leapt onto the dance floor. I simply wanted to move, to be, to do. So I did. Fleeting images of a former party girl hovered about, as the 80's music I had grown up with, thumped through the floor.

Who is this girl? This woman? I recognize her, but have not been acquainted with her for some time. She grew into this mom who laid down her life and lived for her kids and felt blessed the entire time.  But lately, through this game of 52 pick up, she is seeing a new possibility. What if those cards aren't meant to go back into the deck in the same order?

She watched her oldest take his first communion.  His first step into growing his own relationship with God.  And she was so proud of how willingly he embraced this first stepping stone, this milestone. And this woman knows these steps towards his independence are just a beginning of more new steps towards a life outside of hers. His beginning.


And when her father's grave marker arrived, she went to see his grave now complete.   The grass will fill in over the top of it now and the marker will become scattered with leaves and twigs.  His story of his life on this earth is finished.  The end.  


And what she is realizing, reflecting upon, is this idea.  This is where she will begin.  As T.S. Eliot writes "...the end is where we start from."


  1. Oh, Vicky. This is beautiful. What a great way to put it. I am a firm believe that it is healthy to believe that life will never be the same after a death. Because it won't. But like you said, it is a beginning of something different. That isn't always a bad thing. Sara Groves has a song called, "Less Like Scars" which puts this concept to lyric and music nicely. I love that you have decided that the cards might not go back into the deck the same way. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. You are in the Tail End of the Hero's Journey. You have played the Helper for so long and some of that role has lessened. Now you are searching for a replacement. That replacement may be you. You need to take care of yourself for awhile. Praying you find peace.

  3. I have found that the deck of cards will never be in order cause I tried that over and over again till the deck finally beat me at my own game.
    Life is about disorder today.
    After caring for my Mom hand and foot for so many years, I felt peace and joy and a breath of fresh air for the both of us, when she finally passed away. She was stolen from me years before, living an empty shell life, and we were both in prison
    I felt I did the right thing by her.She needed the time and I the learning and......I learned a lot.
    Whatever happens in life happens for a reason and we learn why along the continuing journey we face.
    There is an afterlife and we have to have faith in that in order to heal.
    Vicky, your Dad is fine. He is smiling at you from up there and watching over your family, so give him a good show so he doesn;t get bored lol
    love ya.

  4. And some stories never really end ... they continue on in the next generation ... he gave you a beautiful novel to build on, didn't he?

  5. This is a beautiful post. I think you're right, your story is about a new beginning as your children grow more independent. And like you, I want the cards nicely stacked in suits, all orderly, all just so, and sometimes the challenge comes in living outside our comfort zone. This might be your challenge now, find your footing in a new comfort zone, a new place emotionally.

  6. It is amazing how life affects us..thank goodness and for the change it all brings in us. Your dad's journey is continuing now and the greatest happiness he has ever know just begins. Now I'm off to look over the post I have missed here! ;D

  7. The minute I stop moving the grief comes crashing in on me...staying busy helps...and gives new meaning and order as well!!! Go, Vicky!! Love you...and keeping you in my prayers as you embark on this new adventure!!! Your Dad would be so proud of you..Love you!!! Janine XOXO

  8. My friend Vicky...
    The photo of your son is fabulous. He has grown soooo much...!! I'm so proud of him...very.
    And... I don't have to tell you that I want to give you a special hug after reading this blog.....knowing that Daddy's girl will always be just that... You are a wonderful daughter, mother, and wife, Vicky. You know that I loved your Daddy...even though I never met him...I loved him through you.

  9. Dance, dance, and dance! Reacquaint yourself with that person. All too often we become a mother and decide it is tome to detach from that part of us. Who says? Why? Because society makes us feel (or we put this pressure on ourselves) in order to be the perfect mother, wife you have to. No way! Not me, I have to get out there and dance to be the mom and wife that I want to be. You do to!

    P.S. You son looks so grown up-you must be so proud!

  10. The story of his life grows on within all of you. Beautiful post Vicky. Love the Eliot quote. Once again, you help me to feel better about where I am each day when I miss my Dad. Thank you my friend.

  11. As we get older and life and circumstances change, we too change right a long with it. So, it is no wonder that you are finding that you need to take on new things. And, one thing I do know Vicky, is that God would have us delight in His gift of life. And, I think you have been doing just that. Hugs!

  12. Oh gosh I have a big lump in my throat. I so know what you are talking about and I want to tell you it gets better and better. You will be forever changed I guess with your father's passing but you will see things in a different way and do things in a different way. This life we live really is a journey I guess. And so much is in our control if we but realise and take every opportunity that comes our way. When our parents leave us we become more attuned with our own mortality and suddenly some things are more important than others. And boy, are your children growing up into handsome young guys.

  13. Oh, my heart. You so wrote this for me. Not just about Dad but about my life completely. I want a normal. A routine. And nothing about me follows a line. The pain changes minute to minute and I have to let my cards fall where they may.

    I like order. But I'm learning.


I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

When you get lucky

When you get lucky

Popular Posts


Minnesota.com - MN Weather, Map, Businesses and Blogs
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape