Tomorrow marks seven years since my first husband was rear-ended and killed. As I tried to think of what I wanted to write and how I should share it, my gaze kept returning to my piano.

For James' funeral, I put a ton of pressure on myself to play and sing Garth Brooks' song "The Dance," as the lyrics helped me express what I often couldn't in my own broken words. You know the tune: "And now I'm glad I didn't know / the way it all would end / the way it all would go / My life is better left to chance / I could've missed the pain / but I'd have had to miss the dance." I've never regretted that performance, even though the unintended consequence was not wanting to play ever again.

After a few years, I did try to sit on that hard bench and open up some old favorite sheets. But...it didn't last long. Until this summer. 
As you can see from the picture on the left, I now have an accompanist with me: my baby daughter, Ruthie. She smiles and gasps with glee while banging on the keys. It's her favorite thing, and we do it every day. Sometimes three times a day. It all started as an attempt to stop her crying one afternoon and just try something new.

It was a moment where the broken pieces of my life as a widow shifted and made a new pattern. New life opened a door I thought I had closed.

Friends, life is a kaleidoscope: a collection of fragments waiting to create newness. Keep your heart open today and always.