The Last Puzzle Piece

My 8 year old daughter and I recently did a 300 piece puzzle together.  It’s a really cool one with animals doing all kinds of silly things, the kind of puzzle where you grow attached to the various little characters and scenes within the whole picture.

So when we got to the end and we were missing a piece, I was quite disappointed.  “Great, we lost one!” I said (probably too loud) and proceeded to spend the next two minutes looking all around, even in other rooms, since the baby is notorious for taking off with little important bits and eating/losing them.

Just as I was giving up in despair, my 8 year old giggled and produced the piece from under her seat.  Grrr.

Now, she comes by this joke honestly, as it’s a tradition for my Dad to pull this trick on my Mom and I, but when he does it, he is standing at the ready as we put the last couple pieces in.  He doesn’t let us look around for it, he just swoops in and takes the glory of putting in the last puzzle piece.

My daughter and I discussed how this trick might be more fun for all in the future, and causing Mama extra stress is not part of the equation, but the whole experience made me realize that though there are 300 pieces in the puzzle, the most important and special one is the LAST one.

And how, don’t we all want to feel like the last puzzle piece?  There are billions of people in this world, many, many individuals in our communities and families and schools, but don’t we each want to feel like the one who will be missed if we aren’t there?  Don’t we each want someone to panic and search desperately for us?  Don’t we want to feel so precious that the whole project of life will be incomplete without us?

How often do we intend to make someone else feel like the last puzzle piece?  Our child, our partner, a dear friend?  And is it something we can do for a stranger in the grocery store, to look into their eyes and smile like they are the small bit we’d thought was lost but then we found it?  What joy!

I hope when you are here at Wise Way Tribe, you feel me reaching out across the time and space that separates my typing from your eyes moving across the screen, and that we can meet with a true connection.  I hope you know that your presence makes my puzzle complete.


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