Make Me Stronger

A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.


Jigsaw puzzle MMS final II

Dedicated to the artist in all of us, building piece by piece.

We are all working on our masterpiece called life. A big jigsaw puzzle made of many pieces, each having a place to fill, together forming our life. A masterpiece that is our own – a reflection of who we were, who we are and who we want to be.

While we are the mastermind behind our puzzle, we are also puzzle pieces for others. We have a place to fill in their masterpiece. The beauty of how all our works are intertwined. There are no extra pieces, just enough for each to be complete.

Many of us grew up thinking we knew what our puzzle should look like. We are often influenced by the artists surrounding us. Wanting our masterpiece to look like theirs or thinking it has to. But unlike most jigsaw puzzles, our life doesn’t come with a visible image of the final picture. We have no idea what life has in store. What pieces will be made available to us, what pieces we will discover and what pieces will be unlocked.

In the beginning, pieces are handed to us. Family, extended family and family friends. Some forming a frame, the foundation of our masterpiece. The glue that will hold everything in place. Others are placed sporadically inside the frame, but it’s not random. They are in a place of future connection that we will build towards.

As our masterpiece starts forming, we often think we know what comes next. If there will be an ocean for us to swim in, a tree for us to climb or a mountain for us to jump from. Sometimes the foreshadowing is on point and sometimes there’s an unexpected piece that can alter what you thought you were building towards.

As we get older, we pick pieces that catch our eye or our heart. Pieces that look or feel like there’s a home for them.

Some pieces fitting right into place, a perfect match in every way. The right color, the right shade, fusing with pieces in its vicinity. A seamless flow.

Others fit into place, yet feel like a stain. One we can’t get rid of but learn to move forward from.

Then there are the ones we try our hardest to fit any and everywhere. We are convinced they belong. Trying to force them in places or trying to build around them. But no matter how hard we try or how much we want them to fit, there isn’t a place in our canvas for them.

And then there are the ones that jump into our hand as if they fell from the sky. We weren’t looking for them, we didn’t even know we needed them, yet here they are because they knew there was a place for them to fill.

As we encounter or discover each puzzle piece, we usually have a feeling of their importance or role. Sometimes we are so right and sometimes time lets us know otherwise.

There are the pieces that are a sun ray, a piece of the bright blue open sky or a cloud you can restfully lay on. They are unchanging. Nothing can alter their impact or role in your masterpiece.

There are also the pieces you think are your sunshine and later turn out to be a shadow. And then there are the pleasant surprises. The pieces you thought were part of the background but as you build the puzzle of your life, you realize they are the perfect accents you can’t live without.

What is the focal point today may not be a year from now. As we walk through life, the focus of our puzzle changes, direction alters and many pieces are transient in importance.

But we all have those “special pieces”. The ones that remain a constant focal point no matter how near or distant they are from where you are building now. The ones that no matter when you step back and look at the entire picture, they always catch your eye. They played a key role in where you went once you picked them up. No matter where you’re standing, what angle you look from, good or bad, they are what make your masterpiece.

Often these important pieces are with you until your masterpiece is complete. But sometimes they have to leave before you’re done. The fallen pieces. They are hard to let go of but we don’t have a choice. Their masterpiece is done and so their time has come.

They can never be replaced. Missed dearly. Their absence forever felt, their place forever held. And if you’re lucky, the things you built around them will hold because although they are gone, the imprint they have left is everlasting.

At some point we all will be a fallen piece.

I realized early on that the one thing more important than the masterpiece I’m building is the puzzle piece I am for others. One eye on my masterpiece, one eye on the puzzle pieces I hoped to be.

I hope to be a sun ray or a glistening ripple in the water or a splash of color where needed.

I hope to be a piece that creates a warm feeling of comfort or makes you laugh out loud. One that makes you believe in perfect timing.

I hope to be a piece that makes you question where you’re headed to make sure you are building something you are proud of.

A piece that is your happy place or your favorite playlist.

And in the end, I hope to always be a piece that is being mindful to know my place and the artist’s need.

The place you fill for others can unlock filters and lighting that are better than anything you find on Instagram. How you help shape these other pictures will naturally reflect in your own masterpiece. Enhancing your masterpiece in a way no puzzle piece can.

So, the puzzle piece you are is just as important as the masterpiece you are working on.

Your masterpiece is a reflection of who you were, who you are and who you want to be. The puzzle piece you are, is your legacy.

A few years ago, I started to wonder if I would be around to complete my masterpiece. Or if I would be forced to walk away before I had a chance to place all my pieces. Before I had a chance to complete my masterpiece.

I realized over time to consider the alternative… Sometimes what seems or feels incomplete may actually be complete. Maybe not every space is meant to be filled for it to be complete.

My masterpiece. It may not look like what I thought it would when I picked up my first piece. Often an artist starts with one idea and ends with another. Nature and instinct take its course, guiding towards the picture it is meant to be.

Your masterpiece is a reflection of who you were, who you are and who you want to be. The puzzle piece you are, is your legacy.

I’m still working on both.

Related Posts: It is written, A Letter to My Cancer, Headphones, Hope, Amazing. Priceless. Blessed., Heartbroken

3 comments on “Masterpiece

  1. Elisa
    August 12, 2022

    Thanks for writingg this

  2. Neetu
    March 29, 2016

    Another great piece (pun intended ;)) You are def the puzzle piece that keeps inspiring me to build everyday! ( and one of my favorite playlists!:))

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