Stumbling Toward the Light

"We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly" -- Madeleine L'Engle

A collection of thoughts and messages I wrote after my daughter died May 17, 2000. Primarily this blog is concerned with grief, bereavement, the death of a child, hope, courage and a tough faith journey.

Location: Kansas, United States

Husband, father of four, friend, dog owner, owned by a cat, Episcopalian, last liberal Republican left in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


[originally published in DayByDay bereavement email list in May, 2006]

I have never been what one would call a "tidy" person. My boss is constantly harping at me about the state of my desk. Our house is cluttered with papers, books, art projects, dog and cat toys. My clothes are well-worn and comfortable.

This morning I got to work and a fellow employee told me that I was "wearing my life on my sweater." I looked down and there were dog and cat hairs clinging to me. I told her I considered it a good day when I didn't wear part of my breakfast down the front of my shirt too!

Years ago I used to get to work with part of our kids' breakfasts on my sleeve. Or I'd reach into my pocket for my keys and pull out small plastic soldiers, rocks found by small hands in a field or the detached left arm of a doll I'd been asked to fix. The ties I wore were often gawdy Christmas presents from children. My shoes had scuff marks on the tops from dancing with little girls who stood on them while we moved across the living room. One morning I found my co-workers laughing behind my back... only to discover that when I reached behind me there was a sign taped to my jacket with the message, "Kick me," printed out in a small child's scrawling attempt at lettering.

Those we love have a habit of "clinging" to us. We find them in our pockets, on our sleeves, taped to our backs... and tucked into our hearts and minds.

We're putting an addition onto our house and yesterday while outside admiring the framed walls of what will become an enclosed patio room I noticed something glinting in the grass. I reached down and picked up a clear marble. Rachel always liked the clear marbles. She said they were "little crystal balls."

This morning, besides the dog and cat hair on my sweater, I have an extra jingle in my pocket... a "little crystal ball."

Bill Sowers
Father of Rachel