Tyler found a roly-poly, one of those little black bugs that curls up into a ball. He found it as we were walking up the sidewalk to deposit Tucker in the line of kindergarten students. Incidentally, it wasn't a nature walk, yet there we were, caught up in investigation.
Some of us are better at stopping to smell the roses and hold the bugs. One of us has to watch the clock.
He let it crawl all over his hands as he tinkered along the sidewalk.
"Can I keep it?"
"No, buddy, you need to let it go before we get in the car."
"Because he lives in the grass. You can't take him from his home."
"Well, I did that once. When I was four years old, I caught a caterpillar. A thick, black, fuzzy one. I put him in a bowl with a couple of leaves and some grass, and I watched him all the time. He crawled all around until he didn't anymore. He curled up at the bottom of the bowl, and he wouldn't try anymore. Poppa told me the caterpillar had seen all he could see in the bowl, and he had learned everything he could learn. I kept him until he was sad to be mine, and then I needed to let him go. He belonged some place bigger."
"But I want to see a black, fuzzy caterpillar."
"Sorry, kiddo. They don't live where we are. They're back east with the lightning bugs."
"Tell it again."
~ a favorite little excerpt from my first book,
And Life Comes Back
I have come nowhere near suffering such a loss as you, but your bright spirit and deep faith is a balm to all of us, whether or not we suffer big or little hurts. Your relationship with your boys is beautiful. Keep on sharing them with us!
I read your book "And Life Comes Back" when I was looking for a way to develop a section of my novel-in-progress in which my protagonist loses his brother in an industrial accident. After some time, his sister-in-law, the widow, needs to build a new relationship as a couple. She proposes to my protagonist, and he needs to process the idea with his 13-year-old nephew, who is grieving equally and won't allow any man to take the place of his father. I infused myself with your story and that of one of my nephews who lost his mother to cancer when he was nine, spent three months processing it all internally, and finally was able to write the necessary chapters with realistic compassion. I couldn't have done it without yours and my nephew's contribution.
As one of your readers to this blog put it, your blog is a ministry. I couldn't agree more!