~ Author Unknown
There once lived a family who felt that God had especially blessed them. They had health; they felt secure in their love of God and their love for each other.
On the mantle of the fireplace stood a vase. It was a strong, sturdy vase – attractive but not extravagant. It had been a wedding gift and to them, it symbolized their family. It had with-stood the bumps of moving and toddlers’ antics as the family had withstood the buffets and ordeals of life. The scars and chips could be detected only on very close scrutiny.
The day the oldest son in the family died, the vase was found on the mantel, shattered into many pieces. No one bothered to gather up the pieces. It was left for some time in its broken condition on the mantel.
After some time had passed, thought was given to putting the vase back together. Little enthusiasm was generated, but eventually the task was begun. The family worked together, each adding a piece or a suggestion about getting it mended. Each one of the family members got discouraged and more than once some one of them was heard to say, “It just can’t be done.”
Finally, after many months, the vase was back in its normal pace on the mantel. To the casual observer, it looked strong and sturdy and no one would guess it was less than perfect. But, on closer examination, it obviously had been shattered and put back together, and on turning it around, one could see that one large piece was permanently missing. It had never been found and served to remind the family that, although their hearts could mend and heal, their lives would never be the same.
As bereaved parents our hearts are broken and can never be the same. Our hearts will always have the cracks but also a piece is missing that can never be replaced.