Collecting Tiny Pieces of the Soul

One of the best things about having children is the privilege of serving as a sounding board for the ideas that are constantly bouncing around in their heads.

One of  the worst things about having children is being forced to think about the ideas that are constantly bouncing around in their heads.

The other day my daughter said something I simply haven’t been able to shake.

‘Mom,” she said, “I’m worried about the future. What if teleportation actually becomes a reality?”

“Why is that a problem?” I asked.

“In order for teleportation to work, your body gets broken into tiny little pieces that have to be re-assembled perfectly again.” she explained. “If a lot of people are being teleported at the same time, what will prevent the pieces from getting all mixed up?” She sighed, “I don’t want pieces of me mixed up with pieces of someone else!”

Initially, I had visions of  my mid-section being swapped with Jennifer Anniston’s.  While I’d be delighted, I’m sure Jennifer would be horrified.  My daughter interrupted those daydreams. “What if pieces are left behind?”

That was a good question from an almost 11-year old, and it’s come to haunt me over the past week:  a week when I know too many people who have lost someone they care about deeply. A week when, for whatever reason, people who should be in the prime of their life are suddenly gone.  A week when the power of medicine failed to make all the pieces of a person’s body work correctly.  A week when so much has been lost, and yet so much has been left behind.

And some people leave many, many pieces of themselves behind.  Those pieces aren’t intended to be re-assembled but to be shared.

I  believe that every laugh, every kind thought and  every good deed  is a tiny piece of our soul that we give away forever with no expectation that it should remain part of us.  These are the pieces that shine in our eyes when we smile and that warm our hearts when we hug.  These are the pieces we send with our children each time they walk out the door and the pieces we lose when we share a secret.

These are pieces that do get mixed up with the tiny little pieces of others. And then, other people continue to pass them on all mixed up with their own tiny pieces.  These are the pieces we collect when we need to paint a picture or compose a song or write a beautiful story. And they are the pieces we collect so we know how to love and embrace all that is beautiful in the world.

I understand why my daughter is worried about her tiny little pieces.  I just hope I have collected enough tiny little pieces from others that I have plenty to share with her. And I hope she, in turn, is collecting tiny little pieces that can also pass on.

About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a theater kid in high school, a band kid at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on August 10, 2012, in Family, My life, perspective, spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. What a lovely idea! Not so much for your daughter (has she been reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by any chance?), but for the rest of us.
    I can feel the “tiny pieces” of my Nana, my Dad, my close friends lost too soon as they swirl all around in my heart. Thank you for the beautiful image.
    I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Thanks… I am fortunate to have not lost anyone close to me recently… but I have friends and colleagues that have. And yes.. I think my daughter’s concerns are rooted in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

  2. Nice! Thanks for putting my mixed up emotions about the week in words. Love you Trina!

  3. What a great post! I think you are right, we all contribute to the growth and formation (and therefore a form of immortality) to those around us. Probably never so much as with our kids!

  4. Hi Trina,
    I loved this post. It was so, so moving. I have young kids and some serious health issues and I really find solace in your post. Its reassuring to know that we do carry those pieces of our loves ones inside our hearts. That’s so precious!

  5. la théorie des petits morceaux… un nouvel outil de réflexion… merci à votre fille et à vous!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: