Last Friday night, I decided to make some popcorn for my boys while they watched a movie.  There were only a few days left of their Christmas break, and we were soaking up some family time.

I LOVE popcorn!  So I was so excited to be making some.  The popcorn bowls were stored in the lower cabinet by the stove, so I bent down to get them out.  As I was reaching for the bowls, my arm hit some of the casserole dishes that were stored in there too, and two of them slid out and fell on the floor with a loud breaking crash.

I froze as I looked down to see what had just happened.

There on the floor lay two broken casserole dishes.  Not just any two dishes.

One glass casserole dish used to be my grandmother’s.  It still had her handwriting on a piece of tape on the bottom of the dish with her name on it.  My mom inherited that dish when her mom passed away.  And it was passed on to me when my mom passed away.

The second dish was a gift to me from my mom.  It was one of the last birthday gifts I ever received from her.  I loved that casserole dish.  Every time I used it, I felt mom’s love.

And there it lay on the floor broken.

bathroom 024

As I knelt beside the broken dishes, my boys’ came running in the room to see what had made that loud crashing sound.

“What happened, Mom?”  they asked.

I could hardly speak.

“Go get Daddy.” I said to my oldest.

Jonathan yelled at Cy to come quick, and then I heard Cy running across the house. He had no idea what had just happened.  He was probably expecting to see something terribly wrong, but instead, he just saw me kneeling on the floor by some broken dishes.

He stopped.

“Mom gave me these dishes.”  I said through a face full of tears.

“Go in the other room, boys.”  He said.

And then  without saying a word, Cy came and knelt down behind me, wrapping his arms around me, and I began to sob.

I couldn’t stop crying.

I felt stupid for crying so hard over broken dishes, but I couldn’t stop crying.

We knelt there together without saying a word for several minutes.  And then finally I was able to choke out, “I know they are just dishes…. but they are all I have left of Mom.”

Cy got up quietly and got a broom to start sweeping up the broken pieces.  I stood up beside the sink and watched as he put the bigger pieces on the stove and swept the smaller pieces in the dust pan.

I still couldn’t stop crying.  Those broken dishes had opened up that broken place in my heart where I lost my mom.

I laid my head on the counter top and continued crying.  My heart was hurting.  I think my heart was extra tender at that moment.  For the past few weeks, my heart had been flooded with Christmas memories of Mom, and I had been holding it all in.  Christmas just hasn’t felt the same since Mom has been gone.

It’s still special, don’t get me wrong.  But boy do I miss her at Christmas.


I was standing in line at a store a couple days before Christmas getting some gifts for my boys, when I overheard a mother and daughter talking at the register beside me.  The daughter looked my age, and she had her toddler with her.  They were talking about Christmas plans and what gifts they still had left to buy.

All of a sudden, I felt a pain in that broken place in my heart.  I remember having those same conversations with my mom just a few years back.

I missed Mom.

When the daughter got up to the cashier to pay for her items, the mom said, “I’ll get this.”

“No, Mom. You don’t have to do that.  I’ll get it,” the daughter replied.

“No, no, honey, I’m gonna pay for this,” the Mom insisted.

And again, my heart sank as I handed the cashier my money.

I remember moments like that.  When Mom used to help take care of me.  When she knew that money was tight and I was doing my best to take care of my boys, and she would say to the cashier, “No.  I’m gonna pay for this.”  And I felt my mother’s love.  That deep, deep love of a mother.




That’s how I feel sometimes.

Just like my broken dishes.

Cy offered to glue the birthday dish back together for me, and I’m going to let him.

I won’t be able to ever cook in it again, but at least I can put it on a shelf and look at it.  He won’t be able to glue it back together perfectly, but good enough.

I’m a lot like that broken dish.

My life may look “good enough” on the outside, but my heart still has broken places in it that can never be fixed.

My mother will never be back.  I will not be with her again on this earth.

Broken places.

Do you have them?

Truth is…we all do.

We all have those broken places in our lives where bad things happened to us.  Or maybe things didn’t turn out like we had planned.  Maybe we have been disappointed by something or someone.  Maybe we have things in our past that have left scars on our hearts.

But here is the good news:

Beautiful things can grow in broken places.



Beauty has sprung from my broken place.

Though the heartache of losing my mom will never go away this side of heaven, I can honestly say that beautiful things have grown in that broken since then.

I am not who I was before my mom passed away, and I am grateful for that.

In my broken place, I have found a better perspective of what is truly important in life.    I have found a deeper walk with Christ.  I have found a greater love for family and friends.

Only Christ can bring beauty from our broken places.



But we have to let Him.

We have to trust.  We have to pray.  We have to hide His word in our hearts.

I love the following verse.  (I inserted the word brokeness.)

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (brokeness).” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses (brokeness), so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


God’s love can be made perfect in our brokeness.  Praise HIM!

We all are broken, aren’t we?  Some of us have little cracks in our lives and some of us have big gaping holes.

My prayer is that as we start this new year together,  we would allow Jesus to grow beauty in our broken places.


  1. Wow Traci. You share your vulnerabilities with us to ecourage and share the Hope of the Lord Jesus. Thank you so very much. Your post comes from a deep place and it is beautiful how your husband knelt with you and let you cry. Thank you.

  2. Tears for you and glory to God that you know and understand this glorious truth! We are all cracked and broken, dear. Some are just a better reflection of our maker than others!

  3. Your post has touched me, I am bawling!!! My mom and I don’t have the best relationship and I mourn that even though I have tried and seem to get nothing in return. I am sorry for your broken dishes, I get it, I really do. Thinking of you!!!

    1. Cried as I read this!! I so “get it” and the fact that your husband held you and understood the tears, you truly are blessed!!

      Kasey, you and I are in the same boat with our moms. I hate to say it, but, I’m so happy the holidays are over!

  4. Wow, I’m reading your post and crying with you. How awful, and of all times of the year to happen. I feel your pain because this is the first Christmas we had without my brother. It was very hard to get through. Now that I think about your dishes, maybe your mom chose this time of year to say hello to you through the dishes.

    Hugs to you!

  5. Oh my dear friend, I am crying for you right now. Your momma is smiling down right now, I am sure of that. I ache for even a sliver of what you had with your mom with mine. I know it will never be like that, so I cry often, just for very different reasons. What a gift you had in her, and she in you!!

  6. What a heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Such a great scripture to dwell on in times of brokeness….loved this post.

  7. Time heals and God heals … but an empty void in one’s heart can never be healed, and shouldn’t.

    If you’re broken heart were healed, then your Mother would mean nothing …. nothing in THIS life anymore. I’ve lost both parents and others in my family that were VERY near and dear to me … a song, a day or date of a calendar year, something someone says, a glimpse of somewhere they were or wanted to go and never got to … or a broken dish. These things flood us with memories of those that have passed that we loved dearly … and to me, even though I still shed a tear (my Dad passed in 1973, my Mom in 1985) these tears that I shed bring me that much closer to them and their memories and the love we shared.

    To me, their life would mean nothing in this world that we live in on this side if I don’t shed a tear for them because I miss them. Our heart is vulnerable … and if it weren’t, would we really want to be us?

    (((hugs))) to you Traci! and to Cy (what a wonderful man he is)!

  8. Traci-
    Thank you for your openess. I cried reading this! This was my second Christmas without my Memaw. She was my role model and spiritual mentor. She was everything I want to be and more. Holidays aren’t the same at all. This Christmas was even harder than last for me because time hasn’t healed. My Memaw shined at Christmas and not being able to see her is so tough. I was given only a few items (family took most without my family knowing). I did received a Christmas hand towel and I went to put it in our bathroom but I quickly had to take it down. I know it is a hand towel and she would want me to use it, but I just wasn’t ready. It smells like her and I can’t have anyone wipe their hands on it… not yet anyways. When I get anxiety over losing her, I kneel down and Thank God that she believed in HIM, because without HIM, I can never heal from this. There’s going to be a day I can put that hand towel out and until then, I am going to Thank God that I had such a beautiful grandma that taught me about faith in God, perserverance and above all, how to be selfless.
    Thank you so much for writing this, It’s good to know that there are people feeling what I feel. Thanks Traci!

  9. Yes, praise God for His unspeakable gift in Jesus Christ. Praise Him for always knowing what is best for us! God is good all the time!

  10. I’m crying, too. I’m so sorry for your pain. I can relate on so many levels. You are doing awesome things for God on this blog, Traci. I’ve never met you and I’m so thankful for you. I’m going to pray for lots of blessings for you and for Him to comfort your broken heart.

  11. Loved your post. Maybe if the dishes are too broken to glue together you could break them further and use them as mosaic for something in your new kitchen?

  12. wishing I could hug you, sweet friend.
    beauty grows in the broken places.
    I see your mother’s beautiful spirit growing in and through you. I get to meet her there.
    love you!

  13. I feel your pain, crying, barely able to read your words. I am so sorry such a quick incident can leave such a lasting hurt for you. I too believe your mom is smiling down upon you and wishes she could comfort you over this and other aches you feel.
    Thank you for sharing this post with us. As I read, I mostly thought about my daughter Jamie and how she will miss me someday as you do your mom. We definitely need to cherish our moments together.
    Thinking of you, and glad that you have enough pieces to put back together to enjoy on a shelf.

  14. I hope you don’t think I’m odd, but I actually thought of you during Chtistmas…knowing you were missing your Mom idst all the celebrations. Your posts about your Mom have been so helpful to me as I continue to grieve over my own Momma’s passing. Thank you for your honesty and your words of hope! They always seem to come at just the right time.

    Anna K.

  15. Thanks, Traci, for sharing. One good thing to consider is how perfect and whole your mom is right now, with no brokeness. It makes me sad to read about your broken dish, but even sadder to read of this who don’t have the kind of relationship you and your mom had. The world is ful of them. I’m so thankful for the wonderful relationship I have with my mom and my daughters, but I know it’s only by the grace of God. It is only through the Lord Jesus and His grace that these kind of relationships are possible, and yes, there has to be that brokeness first. Funny, my husband has super glued so many things back together for me too! Bless you!

  16. Traci,

    Thank you for such encouraging words. I cried like a baby reading this.. Not only because my heart breaks for you and your brokenness, but because you remind us all of Gods promises and the work He wants to do and is doing in each of our lives. I thank Him for you, for your open heart and this blog. He is truly using you for His work! I prayed for you and every woman that reads this post.

    Lots of love, hugs & prayers,

  17. Crying… I felt some of the same when I accidentally broke an orange juice pitcher that was my Nana’s, who just passed last year. Thank you for sharing your heart so freely and reminding us that in our weaknesses, Jesus is sooo strong for us!!

  18. My heart aches for you. I cannot even begin to understand the loss you suffered and the pain and heartbreak you’ve endured in the years since your mom’s passing. We serve a mighty God, who is working right now to turn your pain and suffering into good and for His glory! You can’t understand it now, He’s not ready for you to, but rest on the truth that God is faithful and does keep His promises to us.
    You may not see it now, your words may be heartbreaking for you to write, even for us to read, but what beauty the Lord has already created out of your sufferieng.

    Thank you for sharing such a deep, personal time with us. Hugs to you.

  19. thank you – My mom is in the midstages of dementia and we have been “loosingher” for the last 5 years. It is so sad, and I know the way you feel. May God fill you up

  20. I had those exact same moments this year- I have all boys as well and it was hard to be out there shopping by myself and seeing so many mother’s and daughters- and feeling such a loss- I appreciate your words and thoughts and will try as well to see the good in it all- those tears were good for you- as Mom’s and wives, we don’t let ourselves feel like we need too- it might have been a gift from your Mom to push you to release those tears:)

  21. My heart breaks for you when I read this post. I’m so sorry that these very important pieces are broken but I hope you will make something beautiful out of them

  22. Now I am sobbing…again. My grandpa, who was pretty much my only real father-figure, passed away on Christmas day. I have had a broken heart since December 23 when I knew the end was near. Christmas will NEVER be the same for my family (I lost my grandma 15 years ago, Dec 8th). Believe me I would have cried over the dish too…it’s not silly at all. It’s how we know we care now, and that we were cared for then. Although the dish was very important, you will always have your memories and those can never be broken and that’s the best part.

  23. Oh my gosh…I am sitting here bawling over your story…I have been reading your blog for a long time…I feel so connected to your family, your sister and your Mom. My Mom is still alive, but struggles to have a relationship with her children. I am the oldest of 8. Our Dad died 10 years ago and she gave up when he was gone. He is in heaven, she struggles with any relationship with God…I guess I cried for the struggles with my Mom and how good our relationship could be! I also thank my Mom because I am a mother of 4 and a grandma of 10 and I love on those kids and grandkids as much as I can…I’m that lady in line paying my daughter’s bill…I am blessed to be able to do that…and I know you will do it for your kids…and you will carry on your Mom’s story and spirit. I’m so glad you’re going to still have your dishes…just setting them on your new kitchen shelves will be a wonderful reminder of good times…you can also put a napkin in the dish and serve rolls, breads, cookies in them…Thank you for your story…I needed it! Blessings to you and your family…keep up the wonderful spirit-filled stories.

  24. Beautiful Traci – As much as I love your story, I love more the way you let your brokenness be used and filled up by Jesus! Praying that you will be blessed more for that!


  25. I can relate to this post as if I wrote it myself. I lost my father almost 5 months ago. Very suddenly at the age of 53. I am 27. Its awful. And it was almost at times unbearable during the Christmas season. I feel very much the same way at times. Your post inspires me to know that I can and will make it through. With that said…I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry we have to go through this.

  26. Tears falling…what a beautiful post. I have that same relationship with my mom and can’t even imagine life without her. I know, as much as you would rather have her here on earth with you, it is a comfort to know she is in the arms of our Savior and you will be with her again.

    Love and hugs,

  27. awww. I’m so sorry….I so can relate… I so missed my Mom over Christmas too and also when I was shopping or when I heard her fav. Christmas Song…. I love u girl…..

  28. Thank you for sharing about your brokenness Traci. (tears). I too had a Pyrex 9×13 that was my grandma’s. She had placed tape on the bottom and written her name for identification for a church potluck. One day as I was pulling out one of my bakers, it stuck to my grandma’s dish pulling it out and crashing on my tile. The tears came immediately. The children ran to see if I was ok, but I was not. I had lost the one thing I had from grandma that I remember her using so often. That vessel she used to show her love for her family and others with her baking. Now I had lost her again. It took so much time to get over that broken vessel. But as you said, we are actually the broken vessel. I came to realize that I no longer had the baking pan, but no one could take the memories I had of her and her using it. She taught me all of my skills as homemaker and mom. She was my kindred spirit and I loved her dearly. I look forward with great Hope and assurance of that day we are together. God loves and needs broken vessels. We are in His perfect hands for Him to take our brokenness and make us into a new creation. May the Lord continue to bless you Traci. May the memories of your mom always remain vivid. Blessings.

  29. I’m crying with you. It’s been six years since I lost my mom and best friend! I see grown women (like us) hanging out with their moms or grandkids and their grandparents and my heart aches for what my kids are missing not being able to hang out with their Nana.

    Thank you for your openness and honesty and your reminder of just how precious the people in our lives are. Your husband coming in and hugging you still brings tears to my eyes. You are blessed to have such a wonderful friend in him.

    God Bless

  30. I’m so sorry that you feel this pain. A friend of mine passed away two years ago this December. She was in her 40s, loved her family, loved Christmas. It’s been terribly hard on her mother and her daughter.

    Can I suggest something? Those broken dishes, the pieces, can be made into pendants. Perhaps the two made into one pendant or perhaps into charms for a bracelet. You could carry them with you everywhere.

    Hugs to you.

  31. Just now as I was crying and going through facebook I found your story on brokeness,Im so sorry for your heartache.Im suffering another heartache right now and your words were exactly what I neede to hear at this very moment,thank you.

  32. A beautiful, lovely and very helpful post! This can speak to all of us in so many different areas – wherever our broken place is. I am saving this one and sharing it. Thanks!

  33. Thank you for sharing these words Traci. I can relate to your brokenness and it seems there are times that bring those tears and pain much quicker than others. Praying for you.

  34. That was beautiful. Just beautiful! I feel the same way about losing my dad. Something random will trigger it and it feel fresh. Thank you for your thoughts. SO very true :)

  35. Traci

    Im so sorry for your loss of your mother :*( , your post is so touching .

    I love the part about beautiful things can grow in broken places .

    This touched home with me because on Aug 22nd 2008 I felt like I broke my life changed in the matter of seconds when My third son was born with a Birth Difference , I didn’t think I could get through it I felt Broken I felt lost like nothing good could come out of it , Boy I wish i could take those moments back because I was wrong! Beautiful perfect things did grow from it ! Preston being born changed my family forever in the best way . .

    * Hugs* to you friend you are such a inspiration to so many of us in BLOG world as Im sure you are to the people in your life.

    <3 Brooke

  36. Tears.
    Lots of them.
    I have long clung to Isaiah 61:
    “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
    to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
    to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
    Hurting for you, but thankful you can see the other side.

  37. Yes you are right Traci, all of us have cracks even if they aren’t seen or known by anyone else. What a beautiful post and message, and tribute to your mom.

  38. Just read your post thru my own tears. I could feel exactly what you were feeling – I broke a beautiful dish of my grandmothers, had been passed to my mom and then to me. I remember my mom always saying be careful of that dish when we were cleaning and then one day after she had been gone some years I was cleaning and bumped it and it fell off the shelf. I lost my mother in 1993 and my father in 1983 and I still miss them. I will see or hear something that seems so small – but it will set off the tears still to this day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts – we truly are all broken in one way or another.

  39. That was beautiful and I’m bawling for you right now. You are amazingly strong and such an inspiration. And you have such a sweet husband who handled everything so perfectly. Hugs to you!

  40. Traci, thank you for sharing your broken dish experience with us. And thank you for allowing God to speak through you to us – your words make a difference to me and so many others. I am planning to share your story with my friends and loved ones.

  41. I love the silver lining. It could’ve been just a very sad, albeit, hearttouching story about broken dishes and feeling the loss of your Mom. But I love how you found the light in the dark and the joy from turning to our Savior. Thank you for sharing such a lovely experience & testimony.

  42. Oh Traci, how the tears flowed as I read your post. As you well know, I am so very broken too. But like you, beauty is growing up in my cracks as well. I’ll be praying for you sweet friend as you are praying for me. I love you.

  43. Beautiful post, Traci! We are all broken, whether we realize it or not and whether it’s something as big as losing your mom or as small as speaking a harsh word to your children. Sin breaks us. Life circumstances break us. Other people break us. We live in a fallen and broken world and it affects everything we do. And we are totally helpless about it until we come to Him under the grace of Jesus and allow Him to redeem us from it all. Oh, the beautiful grace of Jesus!

  44. I am in tears for you and I know how hard it is to lose something that reminds you of someone you love so much, but I know that you know that those dishes are not all that you have left of your mom. You have all of the wonderful memories and even more importantly the traits of hers that you carry with you and pass on to your beautiful boys. You are such an amazing lady and I know that at least part of that is from your mom.

    I love ya! And I know that your mom is there giving you a little extra love today.

  45. Oh Traci. And I cried with you as I pictured your broken dishes on the floor. You are correct that they are just dishes but wedding rings are just medal too but they mean for more to us that treasure them. I’m sorry that your dish from your Mom and Grandma were broken. How incredibly sweet and thoughtful and caring of your Cy to comfort you and then fix your dish. And how grateful I am that you shared this moment and scripture with me. Thank you!

  46. May our brokenness ever draw us nearer to God… Thanks for sharing it was lovely…He brings beauty from Ashes and the oil of Joy for mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness….may we be Oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of His Splendor…no matter what happens. Blessings

  47. I cried just reading your words. It’s the broken places we see Jesus shine through! And that’s what this post was for me. I see Jesus.

    Thank you.

  48. If you ever break any dishes again and want to keep a part of them, mosaic them onto a picture frame and they’ll be repurposed into a new keepsake.

  49. What a beautifully written and touching post. You are so right, Traci. We all have broken peices-both big and small that change and shape us. I lost my father when he was only 43 and 11years later the sadness and loss cam still feels so fresh. When I’m not expecting it, a comment overheard, or a happy occasion reminds me of the loss. I am dealing with pretty troubling things right now that are causing little breaks in my heart. But, past breaks are giving me the perspective and patience that I need to endure these new little breaks. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this today and every day.

    I wish I could give you a hug right now-to comfort you for your loss and thank you for making me feel better about mine.

  50. Traci, I felt your pain so much as I read this post. There are times that I miss my mom so bad I can’t get my breath. It sounds as if you needed a release to let those tears flow. God Bless Cy for understanding how much they meant to you and for handling the situation with such grace. Your mom is so very proud of you and of how you have grown. You are an amazing woman, with an amazing spirit.

  51. Traci, thank you. Your posts from the heart always seem to speak directly to mine. Thanks for reminding me that there is beauty in the broken. It’s so evident that your Mom was such a warm, loving and caring person. I feel like I know a part of her through you.

    You don’t know me but FYI I totally think you’re my bloggy friend. :)


  52. As I sit here with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks, I praise our Lord for the work he is doing in your heart! Traci, you are a gem! I know the pain of losing a parent first hand but you are so right that God can take the broken and make it beautiful.

  53. Traci – I can relate to your post and thanks for sharing. You can take those broken pieces, make them into a mosaic piece and have something whole again…..picture frame, mosaic the outside of a glass vase, etc. I had only one item from my grandmother, a little ceramic pitcher, and it broke many years ago and I was devastated. I had broken it once and glued it back (not too bad the first time) but then it broke again and I had to toss it. I did do, or know about, doing mosaics at that time, but I wish I had. I had a lovely mirror from my Dad’s bedroom and it broke and I am holding onto the pieces to include them into a mosaic to remind me of him……it is so hard losing loved ones and the holidays bring back the sadness big time. I lost my Dad, then my Mom, two brothers within one week of each other and last year my oldest brother….all within a several years period of time. My thoughts are with you……

  54. I am sobbing after reading this. I wish I could reach out and hug you. I know exactly how it feels to see moms and daughters together. If they only knew how lucky they were to have their mom by their side. It is something I took for granted and now I’d give anything to have my mom back. I am so sorry about the broken dishes. :'(

  55. Wow. As I was reading this post–through tears of my own–it was as though you were putting into words what I’ve been feeling in the 4 1/2 years since my mother has passed. This last Christmas was much harder for me than all the rest. I’ve had to deal with broken dishes, broken ornaments, creased photos, etc. I KNOW they are only material things, but they trigger an emotion buried so deep in my heart. I’m looking forward to the day I can spend with my parents and grandparents in Heaven:-)

  56. I have been blog staulking you for a long time – don’t even remember how I came across your blog but your posts about your mom have always touched my heart deeply. I sat with tears in my eyes as I read your post today. I haven’t lost my mom yet but I’m not looking forward to that day. I, like you, only have boys. I love my boys dearly but somedays I long for that mother daughter relationship; possibly that is why I cherish my mom because I know that I will never have the opportunity. May you feel the loving arms of our Savior around you as you continue to heal.

  57. Traci,

    You and your family are such an inspiration to others in all aspects of your life. Your mother must be looking down from heaven with such a smile on her face at all that you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. My mother in law has been gone for 10 years and I think that none of us will ever go through a holiday or a shopping spree without thinking of her but I am always awestruck when I talk to my neighbors and friends who barely knew her but were influenced by her presence in the way that she always sent food to the neighbors every time we had a gathering, she took care of those in need although she herself had little. For whatever reason, these people may only be with us physically for a short time but have a lasting impact in our life. I too cried as I read this and hope that you feel your moms love for you and your family everyday. I am thinking and praying for you.

  58. Oh hugs to you my friend. This post brought the tears on fully. I can relate to the broken pieces of life and how God tenderly and gently puts me back together again. Thank you for sharing your journey with so much grace and strength.

  59. Traci – Thank you for writing this. {{HUGS}} I lost my mother in 1999 and that tender place in my heart is still there. I think it always will be. Christmas continues to be a difficult time for me, too. Last year I broke down on Christmas Eve and wept for her and for my friends who were in very uncertain circumstances. As I sobbed, I suddenly felt the presence of Jesus with me. I could feel His embrace and comfort. Thank you for reminding all of us of His promise. Only His love can fill that emptiness.

  60. I had tears in my eyes reading this. I just spent my first Christmas in 14 years with my Mum. We live in different countries and since I met and married my husband it has become a huge issue for my Mum. She grieves to have me and my kids closer. She constantly tells me of times she sees mothers and daughters shopping together and cryS because she can’t do that. She resents my husband for taking me away and tells me she will never get over it. Christmas was not perfect but I revelled in shopping with my Mum, lunching, giggling and preparing. It was hard at times, but the memories were so worth it. Thank you for sharing your story today. Thank you for help me see even more that I am blessed to still have my Mum around, even if it is only 13 days every few years. Thank you for sharing you heart.Thank you.

  61. This heartfelt post has me crying….my Mom passed this year from Alzheimer’s. This is the year she died but I lost her several years before when she no longer recognized me. I miss our shopping trip and lunches and her cooking…….I miss her..I’m crying
    God bless you Traci (((xxx))))

  62. Sorry Traci about your dishes :( and that you are missing your mom :( It’s probably good that you are talking / writting about it :) Maybe your mom knew you needed to let it out and that was her way of saying so :) I don’t know. I never know what to say in these kinds of situations . I know I don’t know you but I am thinking of you wishing you to have a better day :)XO

  63. I am so sorry about your dear Mother and Grandmother and how much you miss them, especially your Mom. But, I am so glad that you have your sweet husband there to help you help you “mend” the broken pieces.

  64. Traci – thank you. I’ve been following your blog for some time now but haven’t ever commented. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story and your strength. I lost my mom almost a year ago and most days I’m totally fine and other days I’m totally devastated. I cannot being to tell you how much your stories of your mom have helped me. So thank you for sharing. Thank you for showing that it’s okay to not be okay. Thank you for showing that it’s okay to BE okay. One day at a time…

  65. Beautifully written. And yes, we have to let Him heal us. I’m still working on that part. Thanks for the encouragement and the courage to share your heart. I love you Trace!

  66. Oh, Traci, thank you so much for opening up to share this – your post hit home with me today, especially the verse you shared from Psalms. I needed to read that verse today, to wrap myself in it.
    Like others, my first thought as I read this post was about your husband – what a good man for taking care of you in a broken moment.
    Blessings to you all.

  67. I am crying here with you…I lost my mom 5 years ago and I know what you are going through. My oldest son’s birthday is 11 days before Christmas and that is the time of the year we packed up our mini van and drove to Chicago to pick her up, go out for Pizza at my sons FAV. Then we we would walk around Downtown and look at the lights, do a little shopping and head back to MI where she would stay with us until New Years Day when we had to take her back to the airport to go home to FL. I know at times it is not as hard, but the love you have for your Mom will never go away and those special things that belonged to your mom or things she gave you has a bigger more valuable meaning than ever before. I still have the last mothers day card I ever received from her and I do not think I will ever get rid of it. It stays in my Bible. Hugs to you :)

  68. This post definitely had me crying at work. I don’t think it’s silly to cry over broken dishes when they were given to you by someone(s) so close to your heart. Thank you for this post today.

  69. Traci, I’ve thought a lot about you this holiday. I prayed your heavy heart to find comfort. I thought about you a lot as I found it difficult to find joy in this Holiday Season. It was Grandma’s holiday….and we always did it all together. Me, Mom, and Ma…against the world. My heart aches, and is so broken. Many pieces will never be recovered. She has a piece of my heart….a large piece…just like your Mom. After I read your post, tears came pouring…I’ve kept it together for everyone else, I’ve prayed more for strength in the past 9 months than I ever had in the 30 years leading up to them…it felt so great to let it out. And, a long 20 minutes or so later, I felt peace in my heart, and this came to my mind, almost like the holy spirit, telling me to say this; “our hearts may be broken, but without your mom, and my grandma, they wouldn’t have been whole to begin with!” We are blessed. Broken, but very blessed!

    Hugs to you!

  70. Oh how I feel your pain, I am so sorry. It’s not silly, your real! What about making something beautiful out of the broken pieces. Like a frame with her picture inside?
    I still have my dads hankerchiefs, he used them everyday :)

  71. Traci, I’m so sorry about your dishes … I know it’s not really about the dishes, but about the tangible reminder they were of your mom. I think that part of the beautiful legacy she left behind — in addition to you and your children — is your love and affection for her. There are many people (myself included) who have never had a good relationship with their mothers. The fact that you did, and that you loved each other so much, is a testament to what a wonderful parent and friend she was. So in that manner, you are so blessed … and no broken dish can take that away from you. Thinking of you!

  72. I have been following your website for a long time now and I don’t know if I have ever commented, but I had to today! You had me in tears! What a sweet post. We are all broken, but our broken-ness allows us to rely on and remember our constant need for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. You can find peace and comfort in your memories and in knowing that you will see your mom again! Thanks!

  73. Traci, I too, have been following your website for awhile. As difficult as it was to see the dishes in pieces, a new use can come out of these pieces. The broken pieces can be turned into a beautiful mosaic. Let your imagination run wild. You’ll see this piece every day and immediately be filled with wonderful memories.

  74. Oh Sweet Girl, that’s why you have those beautiful open shelves so you can put the mended dish up there and see it everyday. Hey, it can brighten up your ‘over-the-microwave’ shelf! xx

  75. So sorry for your sadness and feeling the loss of your Mother all over again. Your story was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so glad Cy was there to hold on to you. God Bless.

  76. beautiful post… thank you for sharing. i know all too well how it feels to be broken. when my engagement ended last march i literally felt like i watched my dreams shatter into a million pieces. i had no idea how God would ever put the pieces back together again, but He is, little by little, in His loving way.

    thanks for the reminder today. :)

  77. Thank you for writing this beautiful post, Traci. It’s just what I needed to read/hear, to let my own tears flow. It’s been almost 7 yrs since I lost my mother, right after my oldest son was born. I am now pregnant with my 4th son, and my heart aches just to think that she was never able to meet any of them (except my 1st, as an infant). Christmas is always the hardest, and I so relate to your feelings about watching/listening to the mother/daughter in the checkout lane. My mom was like that too. :( I miss her SO MUCH, as I know you do as well. The days/months/years do get easier with time, but reading your post put me right back into the raw sorrow, like it was just yesterday that she left us. Thank you for opening up your heart & sharing your story with us. Many blessings to you this year.

  78. wow, you have me in tears, and it is such a tender sweet writing, loss is always hard. Healing will come but the broken and empty place will be there always only softer and more healed in time. Isn’t it interesting that sometimes the most ‘simple’ objects bring us to our grief point? I am so glad you have your husbands love and understanding. He is a special gift for your heart.

  79. Wow. I am without words. I feel so broken from losing my dear brother just two months ago. Hardest holiday season of our lives. Thank you for writing this. Someone told me grief is like being in a boat in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes the waves are huge and knock us down {as they did with your dishes} or sometimes they are gentle. But they are always there. Learning to navigate it all myself and embrace the days where the waves knock me down . . .thank you for the post. Have yet to been able to share on my own blog.

  80. Amen! My mom passed away in 2003, Christmas was different ever since. Then, this past October, my Dad passed away and just six weeks later, my mom’s mom, my Gram passed away. This Christmas was very hard and very different not having any of them here to do the traditions that we have done my whole life. I, too, grew a deeper relationship with the Lord after Mom passed. I look forward through the broken of the present to what will come from clinging to Him through this all. Blessings to you and thank you for writing this.

  81. Traci, I am so sorry. You know, we are all “cracked pots”. Jesus is the glue that holds us together. What a thoughtful husband – to give you hugs and glue as well. All I can say is that Heaven gets sweater every day. Blessings to you. Linda

  82. Traci, my heart is breaking for you. I’m sitting my office, wiping tears away, because I’ve had the same moments. The moments where all you can feel is the emptiness of missing your mom. My mom passed away suddenly when I was 24 {a little over 5 years ago} and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Christmas always reminds me how much I miss her since it was such a special time for our family and one of her favorite times of the year.

    I love that Cy is gluing the dish back together for you, and I’m so glad you can see the positive things that have happened to you since your mom passed away. My relationship with God has grown so much stronger since she passed away and I’m not sure that would have happened otherwise. It’s just another way she was helping to take care of me…as she’d done my whole love.

    Big hugs to you,

  83. Traci: Thank you for sharing with us your pain. Although my mother passed away 17 years ago – I never stop thinking of her. Recently I had VHS tapes of my niece’s made into CD’s for her CHristmas gift. In reviewing them, there was my mother with her as a baby. My heart nearly stopped….to see Mom and hear her voice again – words cannot express how I felt. I know how you feel…….! How blessed we have been to have mother’s who loved us so and who will never stop loving.

  84. Traci, I feel for you. I know the holidays must have been especially tough to get through. Your mom’s dish may break, but your memories and love for her never will. I’m sure your Mom would be proud of the perspective you’ve taken to let beauty grown in broken places.

  85. Jesus was broken for us. I am so thankful for what He did for me. My personal brokenness can never compare to what He did. Thanks for the reminder.

  86. You are so strong doll. If you can still keep going like you do, you can do anything because your Mom is always with you. This is heartfelt and it makes me emotional reading it. But you have the power of God working through you :)

    Maybe you can make some type of mosaic with the broken dishes and put pictures of you and your Mom on top :)


  87. Traci I know these feelings so well. I lost all of my grandparents when I was really young, my connection with my Mother she is a few years older than your Mom would be, is really strong. My only things left of my grandparents are the gifts and housewares given to me by them. I have had numerous things break, or be broken by children or husbands. It hurts so much when one more piece, one more memory, is gone. I know exactly what you feel. *hugs* I don’t know you but I know your pain.

  88. What a beautiful post Traci…I had such a moment on Christmas Eve…missing my mother so terribly much….I cried until I could cry no longer….we are all so broken…I have used that term to describe myself many times….I am so thankful for our Saviour who loves us with all of our flaws….just like our mothers did…And Christmases will never be the same without them…

    Thank you for this post…

    Lou Cinda

  89. One of my challenges for 2011 was to break out of my comfort zone, and as part of that I took a mosaics class. There were four of us in the class, and one of the women had pieces of a platter. She told us about how it had been a part of her life for 40 years, and it was deeply symbolic to her. Now she has a piece of art instead of broken pieces. You could do something like that, I’m confident, and still have a symbol – both of the healing and of your love for your mom.

  90. My heart goes out to you. Like the many above that commented that they shed tears, I did too. I immediatley thought about your love of projects and crafts and thought that you can do something with those pieces. I thought that you could line the bottom of a serving tray with them and grout around them. It would make a lovely display piece and can be useful as well. Love you blog and family.


  91. Traci,

    How sorry I am about your dishes.

    We recently moved about 2,000 miles with a moving company. I had worked so hard to basically only take with us the things we mostcherished. To make a long story short, 15 days later and when our belongings arrived most was broken and entire boxes were missing.

    In the beginning I was upset ( the moving company did not make us whole) and then I had peace. Only the peace that our God can give us. Many of the items were treasured heirlooms that I loved to gaze upon. Fond memories. Eventually I realized that we can’t take it with us and that love and memories live in the heart.

    Peace to you.

  92. So beautifully written, Traci. You brought a tear to my eye, as you were able to put into words exactly how I felt losing my son just before Christmas 5 years ago. Thank you for being so eloquent and open with your thoughts. You and your mom shared a special bond that is a true testament of the ever-lasting love between you.

  93. Thank you so much for sharing this story. My Dad passed away3 years ago and sometimes a great sadness comes over me at the strangest times. Thanks for making it 0K.

  94. Traci,
    My heart broke for you while reading this post. Although my mom and dad are still alive, not together, it pains me for something to happen to the things that they have given, which is little and makes it so much more priceless. My first thought was that your birthday dish would now be a display piece on your beautiful shelves.
    Your are right, beautiful things grow in our brokenness.
    Happy New Year,

  95. ***HUGS*** I’m sorry about your dishes. Praying for God’s grace and strength in your life as you miss your mom extra much these days. Thanks for sharing this personal post. So glad you have a wonderful husband to be there for you too!

  96. I am so sorry for your tears and loss. I have lost my Dad, and I miss him lots. But, I don’t know what or how I will be when I lose my mom. Even though we live 200+ miles apart I still talk to her almost daily and call her when I need that advice that only a mom can give. So, I can only sympathize with you for your tears of sadness. But, I am glad that you were able to open up that part of you and let it out. For letting go of those feelings of sadness can make more room for happy memories and feelings! At least that is my way of looking at a situation like this :) I have an idea, and maybe someone already wrote this, but I would take that dish from your mom and make some kind of mosaic for your kitchen wall or for on your beautiful open shelving. That way you will look at it in a more positive way other than that it can’t be used for it’s intended purpose anymore. With your creativity I know you could come up with something wonderful!

  97. You’ve got me crying. I can’t imagine life without my mom and just the thought makes me cry instantly. We are on this earth such a short time and what is waiting for us in Heaven is so much better. I know you look forward to when you see your precious mom again. Hugs to you today!

  98. This was so beautiful. I had something similiar happened with a dish that belonged to my beloved grandmother. It’s doubly hard. God does heal all wounds, it takes His time, not ours

  99. Though our losses are different, the root of the grief still chokes the same I think. Our daughter was born with a rare brain disorder 2 1/2 yrs ago while my father in law was losing his 2yr fight to pancreatic cancer. The diagnosis on my daughter bc of the condition of her brain was as grim as you can imagine, but the LORD stirred a hope in us to believe in the limitless power of His outstretched hand & plead for his mercy to show it on her behalf. We lost many family/friends bc they thought we were crazy, in denial, being unrealstic etc etc. My father in law was the one who encouraged us to be “fools for Christs sake” (1Cor) and stand on his word alone. 2 1/2 yrs later we have a daughter who is a “medical phenomenon” according to her neurologist & every specialist she sees. Its not a “name it claim it” or our faith has healed her, but a gracious mercy gift that He has spoken life into her brain and called what is not as though it were. My precious father lost the battle shortly after her 1st bday. And though God is bringing about a redemption story greater than I could have ever imagined… the grief of the loss (& the fear that still creeps in of what is to come) is so thick. Not sure why I shared all that, but I wanted to share this song with you by Jason Gray that I recently heard that has become my anthem! I think it will speak so sweetly to you! Love to you! Praying He gives you the hidden riches of those secret places today. (Thats the youtube link to his song)

  100. My dear, sweet Traci. I am so very sorry. If you ever wondered if God is using your specialness to touch others through this site, you never need to wonder that again. I hope you can feel the outpouring of love from my heart and from all of those on this comment section that love you because of the beautiful, special, real person you are. And the person you are is a piece of your mom who must look down and be so proud of her beautiful, special girl. On my way home today, I heard a new song for the first time – “Learning to Be the Light.” It is beautiful and reminds me of you. I am learning to be the light – you are 100 steps ahead of me. Much, much love to you.

  101. This post really touched me. I am so sorry for your loss. I can on;y imagine what it must be like. When you talk of Broken Things, I thought of this song. Please listen to it. I know it will make you smile.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. Even the Broken Things. :)
    Love you.

  102. You are such a strong person. I can only imagine your Mom is looking down, and so proud of the woman you are. I strongly believe no matter what life brings us, if we continue to grow, develop, heal….we are such a better person in the the outcome.

    Happy New Year!


  103. Hi! I have read your blog for at least 2 years now. I love it, I was drawn to the heartfelt story about your mom and your faith. You don’t know how many times your blog has ministered to me in the past year. See- I lost both my parents in 2011. I did not even know they were sick when 2011 began. Daddy had a massive heart attack on Jan 11 and I thought that was the end. I picked myself up with God’s help and began putting my life in order. In the mean time my mother began having extreme back pain. I carried her to the emergency room on July 11 and we found out she had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to the bones. She died two months later. Mama and Daddy died eight months to the day of each other. I am so touched by your blog. I am broken too but God picks us up for sure. Like you, I am not the same person I was before my Daddy died nor my Mother! I hope to say I am a better Christian with a purpose for serving our almighty God. Sorry about your dishes – I pray for your strength and ask that you pray for mine…sisters in pain….

    Cynthia Lee (reader from NC)

  104. Thank you for posting your your heart felt feelings. My mom passed a few years ago, she had Alzheimers (?) and was in a nursing home for 10 years, my husband and I visited daily. She slowly forgot who we were so the only peace of mind was to think that her body might be mom but the rest of her was already in heaven. She gave birth to 7 children and 1 of them died (Susan) when she was only a few months old, so maybe mom thought she had been on earth with all of us for so many years that maybe Susan needed her now and to be with dad. Does this sound crazy? Maybe so but our minds do what it has to to give us a little bit of peace. God bless you and I will be keep you in my prayer.

  105. You really touched my heart. I miss my mom too! All the best in this new year..may your brokenness be mended.

  106. I’ll bet after this post your IN BOX is bursting at the seams! Amen dear Traci, you have said it well in your post. I just want to say this one thing, something I don’t talk about unless asked about, sure, I had a Mom, but not at all like you share with us about your Mother. She never has, and never will, put herself out to help anyone, family included. When you grow up like that you have a very negative perspective of yourself and the world around you. It has taken me a life time to grow and mature into a carrying and sharing and trusting person. We were never displayed this at home, nor were we ever encouraged to do or think this way as children growing up. I know you know you are blessed to have had a caring, loving and supportive Mother. I am blessed that I had my own son who helped open my eyes to a world of kindness, and that I believe and trust in Jesus. It has been baby steps, I’m still not quite there yet as a whole person, but I am trusting He will see me through. Perhaps the pieces broke to remind us all (in your beautiful message), that while they might hold memories of a dearly loved person, they are not of them, and their spirit lives on and is with us always. Thank you for this post.

  107. Yes the Holidays don’t feel the same as you loose your parents. I lost both two years apart at 25 . With two small girls of my own I had to use all my courage and determination for them to have happy memories of Christmas as well.
    My own belief in God is shaky at best. However I am inspired by your (and your sisters)blogs to reflect and soften my beliefs.Perhaps you didn’t know that you inspire in more then decorating to your readers?
    Thank you

  108. Oh, I recognize your pain! I was 22 when my Mom passed away….I’m almost 57 now. It took me 15 years to visit her grave in the cemetary and that’s when my healing truly started. God….He is so patient and waits for us! I no longer grieve over losing Mom, but there are times I do miss her intensly…especially her wisdom. With some healing, I came to a new place where I think, “Mom would love that!” or “Mom, must be shaking her head and laughing!”…and it doesn’t cut like a knife. Yes, I’ve broken some dear items that were Mom’s and shed raw, bleeding tears. Your sharing your pain, reminded me of a song from long ago by Janny, “Stronger Than Before”. Here’s part of it – may it bless you, too.

    Even tho’ the rain comes down
    It springs life into the ground
    And I know the sun will shine
    And that gives hope again
    To this heart of mine

    I know God can heal all things
    Broken lives and broken wings
    Only He can mend a heart
    That this world has torn apart

    As the seasons make their turn
    There’s a lesson here to learn
    Broken wings take time to mend
    Before they learn to fly again
    On the breath of God they’ll soar
    They’ll be stronger than before

  109. I just cried reading your post. You write so beautifully and I could feel everything you were sharing. Thank you so much. This was a timely reminder for me today as I have been so burnt out with all the cares of life. Thank you so much!

  110. Wow, Traci, what a great well-written post. Love that you share your heart and oh yes, don’t we all have broken places. I sure do! Lots of regrets and hurts and brokenness, but you are so right. I have had to give it all to the Lord and let him heal and restore and put me in a better place. And he is so faithful to do that when we let Him. xoxo

  111. I lost my best friend, my mom 6 years ago this month. She was 2 days shy of her 57 th birthday. Holidays are always tough but i know she is with us in spirit. Your mom will live on through your stories. Share her often with your boys. Blessings!xoxo

  112. I am so very sorry and am praying that the prayers of many are lifting your spirits a bit. I sent your post to my sister-in-law. We lost her mother, my mother-in-law last summer to cancer. Last week I dreamed of her twice, in the second dream she walked into my home with my father-in-law and they were both so happy. She was so beautiful, and when she hugged me, I really felt her, and I thought “so she is really here, all of the loss was a dream”. Then I realized that I was the only one who saw and felt her right then, and immediately knew that this was the dream. As devastated as I feel, I can’t imagine the pain of going through the loss of my mom, my rock, my friend. What a great tribute to your mother that you walk the fine line of grieving and living. Thank you for the inspiration and sharing your walk with us. Sending hugs your way.

  113. I am crying along with you right now. What a beautiful thing to post. My sister in love gave me a sign for Christmas that says..Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. Yes, we are all cracked my friend. Praying for peace and continued healing for your heart.
    Blessings and love

  114. Very touching. I am wiping away my tears as I read your story . Fortunately, I still have my mom and I do not know how I will be able to say goodbye to my parents when the time comes. And you are so right about being broken. You are most inspiring to me.

  115. Traci-

    I read this post on my phone while having lunch at work today. Huge crocodile tears fell into my lap as I struggled to continue to read the entire post (iphone screen plus tears is not a good mix). I guess I needed a good cry for different reasons. I still have my mom but I know I could be walking in your shoes easily and can only imagine how that would affect me. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us and being so open about your relationship with Christ and the Hope we have in HIM and that you WILL see your mom again. Blessings to you Traci!

  116. When the heart breaks, it opens…and any number of wonderful things can happen.

    I read this – somewhere – several years ago – and it has stayed with me ever since – and – has certain rang true many times.

    My Father died when I was 12 (I am now 58) – and my only sibling, my brother died when in 1995 – my Mom, is still with me – she is 86 – but has many health problems – I am so thankful for all the years with her and the time I have left with her. We should all live each day as if it is our last and live it to the fullest and to the Glory of God.

    Be blessed. Am thinking of you.

  117. Awww. Big hugs to you! Thank you so much for sharing such a “heart” moment and the perspective. You could always wire wrap a piece and make a pendant (then you’d always have it close)… Google “wire wrapped broken china” … I say that but I have yet to do that to a horribly chipped coffee mug that has a turtle on it because my grandma collected turtles. lol (((Hugs)))

  118. I only get to see my mom about once a year- she still lives in California. I cry like a baby every time I have to say goodbye and it’s been 11 years since I moved away. I can’t even imagine the hurt you feel. Not everyone has a good relationship with their parents – you were so blessed to have that. Hugs to you!

  119. Oh, Traci, I am just crying my eyes out here. Your mom was so precious, and I don’t blame you for crying over those pieces. About five years after I lost my grandma (who helped raise me), I was in my little apartment during the first year or so of marriage, washing a Smurf glass of mine. She had got them for me when I was in my Smurf craze as a kid and kept them at her house. I used it every time I was at her house well into adulthood. As I was washing, I accidentally tapped the glass to the faucet and it broke. I remember standing there sobbing over that sink, still holding the largest piece of it. I hadn’t even turned the water off. In the absence of our loved ones, having their “things” with us makes us feel a bit closer. It’s a great tangible reminder of all they were to us. How many times had my grandma washed that glass in her own sink after I’d gone home? It’s just precious. Thank you so much for your heart and your transparency in sharing it. I pray for you and me and all of your readers that we watch this year to see what the Lord would grow up into our broken places. I love you, friend. *hugs*

  120. What a sweet story of your love for your mom. I still miss my mom- every Christmas and at odd times throughout the year, it just hits me, even though it’s been a long time since she passed. I love how God makes beauty of ashes, grows us into His image through all things. Thank you for a sweet reminder of that.

  121. Your post brought me to tears as I also have a broken place. Your words really touched me and I thank you for sharing them. When you see the repaired casserole dish on the shelf, may it bring you peace in the restoration rather than pain in the brokeness. Hugs to you.

  122. You post touched my heart and brought me to tears. it reminds me to thank God for the blessings we have here right now.

  123. Traci, you have tears rolling down my face right now. I’m so sorry that your heart is hurting, and that you can’t get a big hug from your mom right now. BUT I will pray that Jesus fills you with His love tonight, and reminds you of all of the wonderful things you still have in your heart from your mom!

  124. It sounds like you are only having the one glued back together? The other, the one from your Grandmother, if it were my dish, I would take the broken piece that has the tape on it and shadow box it. Just an idea, and as always many hugs to you.

  125. My heart is breaking for you and makes me realize how fortunate I am to have my mom still with me!

    My children broke my husband’s cookie jar he got from his grandmother. I plan on taking the pieces and gluing them on to a plain frame and making it look like a mosaic frame. Maybe you could do something similar and put a picture of you and your mom in it.

  126. There are so many comments here that I don’t know when and if you will get to mine . I feel so bad for you. I know the feeling of loss albeit my dad, not my mom. I hope you get this message before garbage day and you don’t throw away those pieces or haven’t already. If it were me, I would make a mosaic with those pieces from both of the broken dishes and display it proudly somewhere in your kitchen. You can then look at it every day, not just at casserole time. Hope you feel better and can smile about the happier memories that this accident conjured up soon.

  127. My heart aches for you, Traci…while I still have my mother on this Earth, I am without my dad. Life has not been complete with him in Heaven. Nothing seems “right” without him here. I understand the place you are coming from. Many nights are spent with the smallest little thing stirring up that broken piece in your heart. I hope you find some comfort, tonight, in the memories of your mother. God bless you!

  128. Traci, I just found your website tonight linked from MyBlessedLife blog. I think we have so much in common: loving to decorate, design, and slight addictions to Goodwill to fuel up-cycling projects! I’m 33, wife, mom to three kiddos (one boy and two girls-sooooo there’s a little less testosterone floating around my home!). Anyway, I wish I could have you over for a big cup of tea and we could talk and talk and then eat and talk some more. I guess when I get my blog up and running you can meet me then. Speaking of meeting I bet our mom’s have already met in heaven. My mom (Liz) went to heaven Feb. 2010-not even a year ago. I know what it is like to have situations expose the loss and longing to be in relationship again with mom. Thank-you for sharing your tender thoughts and emotions about the night when the casserole dishes broke and the mother/daughter check-out conversation and how they opened up and exposed areas of brokenness. I totally “get” this. I’ve had the same thing happen just with different situations. Like, the time we were sitting in a restaurant some months again and the family at table next to us still had mom laughing and being part of their family. I was so happy for them and ached for being able to share a meal with my mom and the rest of our family again at the same time (I started tearing up). When you said the one dish still had a piece of tape with your grandmothers hand written name I thought about my mom’s handwriting. Mom’s handwriting brings so much peace to my aching heart. It’s not just the things she had written but the way she formed her letters into words that instantly just glancing at word on a page I know it was written by her and I feel like something of her is still touchable. So we journey. We journey to share and pass down something to someone else that was given to us by our mom. Well sister you have shared your heart in this post and on your blog. I feel like I have gotten to meet you and your mom’s love! I think you are a beautiful reflection of your amazing mom! Thank-you for sharing God’s love and creativity with all of us-your readers! I think she would be so proud of you and your blog. Sending lots of love and a big hug! I said a little prayer for you too. -Amy

  129. {{{Traci}}} So many have shared some wonderful words to you. You have touched so many lives – mine included. I was brought to me knees in tears and prayers for you after reading your post. Yes, we do live in a broken world. No things didn’t go the way I had planned in my life – not able to have children – barren – adoption no longer an option – broken. But I KNOW that Jesus has a plan for me and I TRUST in Him for that. Yes, I miss my dad too, its been almost 10 years now. He will always be in my heart just as I know that your mom is in yours.

    Yes, God’s love can be made perfect in our brokeness. Praise HIM!

    Hugs and Blessings to you Traci – you are covered in prayers tonight

    Marilyn C.

  130. Hi Traci,
    I’ve been following your blog for ahwile and think I might have commented on another post you wrote about your Mom. I started to read this post earlier this evening but had to walk away, I didn’t want to start bawling in front of my sons. My Mom died 6 1/2 years ago when I was 30. This Christmas for some reason was harder for me than the others have been without her. After her death, I tried to be tough and “move on” – but this year though the grief caught up with me. Your post really has spoken to my heart – thank you!

  131. What a sweet, but sad story. I lost my mom when I was only 12 years old. Life was hard after that time. That has been 54 years now, and I still miss her dearly. Prayers to you……but let me move on. Just had a thought….did you throw the broken pieces away yet? I hope not….I saw a BEAUTIFUL display at a church in Indiana several years ago. Broken pieces of dishes, cups, plates, etc. were broken in smaller pieces from every member of the congregation and were then cemented together in the shape of a large cross that was in the church narthex. It was exquisite! Have never seen anything so beautiful… was a masterpiece. So, save those pieces and do something creative with them (maybe make an outer frame for a mirror?) to still remind you of your mother. I think it will mean a lot to you….yes, you’ll miss the two dishes, but you’ll still have memories from your creation of the broken pieces.

  132. My heart was touched by your story! Those little material things do so much to stir the memories of the loved ones we have that have gone on before us.

  133. Traci,
    While reading this and crying I felt like your were describing me (except for the broken dishes).
    This is my second Christmas without Mom (nothing is the same). I miss her so much!! We had a very close relationship like you & your Mom. I never was blessed with children, I have a God sent Husband.
    But my heart aches for Mom, and even though I Pray & Pray…I cannot find the peace that I need.
    The wound is so raw, the grief is deep and my heart aches and I feel like I am lost in the wilderness with no directions. It is very tough …….Mom ALWAYS had be decorate her Christmas trees over the years and I just have not been able to put one up without her here. I will add you to my Prayers as I continue to Pray for some peace and also that Jesus will grow beauty from my gaping hole. Thanks for this Post!

  134. This post brought me to tears. I can’t imagine the pain your heart felt when you saw those dishes broken on the floor. This post inspires me though. Inspires me to savor the moments with family, hold dear the things they leave us, and to always remember Christ’s presence in our lives. I love the verse in Psalm that goes something like, “God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. You were blessed beyond belief with such a wonderful mom! I obviously don’t know her (or you for that matter), but I know she must have been a Godly woman, they way you talk about her. What a true blessing from the Lord. May you always hold dear the times you had with her! xo Michaela

  135. Take those broken pieces along with what’s left of your dishes and make a mosaic out of it-maybe something to hang as a picture/frame, or Christmas ornaments…one for each of your kids.

    Take a good picture before you smash ’em further-and make sure you write out the story for your kids , and their kids!

    PS-I like the word changed over broken.

    Hope you find some peace in your heart over this-sjs

  136. Oh Traci! I have to agree with someone else that commented that this is your best post ever! I know that you have inherited this wonderful writing gift from your mother. Also, the love of God, compassion, sweetness, heartfelt love and even recognizing our brokeness came from Wanda. I bet the dish from Nannie was white corningware with the blue cornflower pattern on it because I have one with the tape and Nannie’s name on it, too. If it would help, you can have mine. Love you so, so much!
    Aunt Pat

  137. What a beautifully written post! It is hard how grief can hit us over an object, I have objects that are precious to me as well because of the person who gave them or what they remind me of. What a wonderful husband you have, gluing the dish back together for you.

  138. I could relate to every word. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 30. I had a 2 year old son and was 5 months pregnant with my daugther. I felt broken. How could I raise my kids without her in my life? I have a wonderful husband, but I needed her too. It took many years for God to heal me. It’s been almost 17 years now and I still miss her. Beautiful. Thank you.

  139. Traci, I am so very sorry that this happened.

    Have you seen dangling earrings made from broken pieces of china? If you shape the piece of china and smooth the rough edges with a grinder a necklace pendant could be made from a piece of the china.

    This isn’t the same thing, but when my Grandma was alive and relocated to another house after the death of her husband (my Grandpa), her collection of cups and saucers were placed in a handing shelf. It fell and broke so many pieces of her china. She glued some back together. Some of her collection was from when she was a young woman. My mom gave me a broken cup with the pieces. I plan to have some jewelry made from it.
    I’d like to give some of the jewelry to my Mom. Jewelry from her Mom’s china would be extra special.

    God bless you!

  140. Traci, thank you for sharing your brokeness and how God’s love carries you through. Our life will never be the same again either because we lost our sweet son Shawn on Aug. 26th 2011 to polycystic kidney disease… times it just doesn’t seem real that he isn’t with us here…..I cry every day and some days I really have to talk myself into getting out of bed. I’ve read your blog for several yrs. now and I’m amazed at the projects you and Cy have accomplished. Since Shawn died, whenever I would read it I’d wonder to myself….Traci has a strong faith, if she were to lose one of her boys I wonder how she’d cope with it and would she be stronger than I am. After reading this post it made me realize how you’re still hurting from the loss of your mother and while losing your child is a completely different hurt, by God’s grace your faith would carry you through just as I need to let mine do the same for me…and it’s not how strong we are that matters, but how strong our faith is in our heavenly Father and knowing that “I can do all things in He who strengthens me.” Thank you for sharing your heart today.

  141. Traci, I am sorry for your pain. Your husband knew just what you needed! I know you are blessed to have such support. May God give you strength to ease your pain. I hope that you can salvage part of them to make something that will be special to you. I know it sounds weird but your post is inspiring in that it shows you lean on God and His word for solace and hope for the future. Your story really touched my heart, and I wish I could give you a big hug!

  142. God bless you for taking a hurt and making it into a ‘moment’ of growth and strengthening. I, along with so many who have written, cried right along with you as we saw the event through your eyes! I am still blessed at 58 to have my mother (82) with me (I say that in life sense as we have been missionaries in northern Japan for 28 years so I am never with my mother more than a week or so at a time every year) and never do I take that special gift from God for granted. I suppose it is partially due to the fact that my dear in-loves both died about 20 years ago and then my dad 4 years ago so Mom is all we have left in our immediate family of that generation. My mother and I are very close and I treasure our Skype moments more than my heart cares to admit. I am thankful that if the Lord tarries, there will probably come a time when I will go through things such as this and He will be my strength and joy amongst the sorrow! And it also reminds me to make special memories with my own dear daughter so that her memories will be precious to her. Thank you for sharing your heart and being a blessing to so many. God is the healer of broken places and I trust this year is a continued year of healing and joy to you!

  143. Oh my goodness! I have cried and cried reading your post. I felt like I was standing in your kitchen watching the entire event unfold. I have lost both my parents, my father in 1998 and my mother in 2005. There is hardly a day that goes by that I do not have a reminder of them. I can tell you that it will get easier, but it will never, never go away. Having loving parents and losing them is something that no child ever truly recovers from. I loved them for so many reasons. The greatest gift I ever recieved from them was the gift of making sure that all three of us grew up with the knowledge and love of the Lord. Like you, I am so thankful for my faith in Jesus Christ. He sees my pain and always sends a family member or friend to comfort me once I have had a good cry. Oh how he comforts me. Yes, we are all broken or flawed in some way. It is our faith that glues us back together and makes us even stronger than before we were broken. God Bless you and your family and God Bless Cy for being such a supportive husband.

    Maybe you could put some plastic in the bottom of your lovely dish and plant a small herb garden in it.When you go to pinch off a peace of Rosemary or Tyme, you will think of your Mother and smile.

    Blessnigns and Hugs,

  144. My heart breaks for you, as it always does when I read these posts. There are so many people out there that have lost their Mamas and so many more who will face it. I can’t imagine how much comfort your openness about your pain and grief can give when one is dealing with the same things. Bless you for always sharing. Praying for you this morning. :)

  145. That was a beautiful post. Thank you for being open and sharing your deepest feelings about what you’ve been going through. I know it will help many others as they struggle with their own broken heart. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man – he knew just what to do for you.

    Keep letting God use you through your blog!

  146. Tracy – thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself so openly in this post. I am so sorry for your loss of your Mom, and for your dishes. They are not just “dishes”, they are things held in her heart and her hands and are a connection to her now that she is no longer here on earth.

    What a blessing that you have such an amazing husband as well!

    Take care, Laura

  147. I’m so sorry to hear about your broken dishes. I’m sorry you hurt so deeply it shows that you loved deeply. I pray that healing and beauty begin to overtake you. Blessings to you and yours!

  148. Girl, this brought fast tears!! You retold this story so poignantly that we could actually feel it with you…to the degree we can! What a sweet hubby you have. And what a compassionate God to love you right there, right in that moment. Such a great reminder and encouragement that He is present even when we are most broken.

  149. Traci…..bless your heart. My mom has Alzheimer’s, I see her everyday, but it’s not her,
    so I feel your pain. I miss my Daddy like you miss your mom. Just seeing a little man in
    the post office at Christmas brought me to tears…..because he looked like my daddy
    from the back. Yes, as women we hold it all in because we have to, we’re busy, it’s
    Christmas, and the least little thing will cause it to spew. But yes, thankfully, God can
    fill those gaping holes, and bring us peace until we are all reunited again!!

  150. Traci,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. I lost my mom seven years ago and, while I’ve learned to deal with living life without her, there still is a missing piece of my heart. I know you understand. Your mother was an amazing woman with a beautiful soul; that is apparent in her legacy: her children. While you may not have many physical items that were your mother’s, remember that those things are not the only things you have of your mom’s – you have memories and heart to match hers. Many hugs to you!

  151. This post really hit home for me. As I was reading it, tears were running down my face. Christmas is hard for me every year after losing my grandmother. She was the most influential figure in my life, and I miss her terribly. Thank you for sharing this. <3

  152. Beautiful post. I can so relate to you. Your words are beauty in the brokenness. I have lost both my parents and things haven’t been the same. I’m believing this year that our family can come back together and help heal some of the brokenness. Thank you for being so open.

  153. I am so sorry, Traci! I can relate! My mom died 11 1/2 years ago and I have had experiences like you when something of hers or something that she had given me has been broken or ruined. It is hard! I am so glad that I have so many intangible things of my mom’s—just as you do. The memories, her kindness, goodness, godliness, the love that she shared, her faith, her graciousness and hospitality, etc. But it still hurts when something that I can see or hold that reminds me of her is broken. You never stop missing her and wishing that she was here. Your sharing about brokenness reminded me of a line of a Leonard Cohen song that says something like “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Thank God for His Light which shines through even the darkest of times! Bless you!

  154. This made me cry when I read it this morning. You have an incredible ability to convey your thoughts and feelings in words. Thank you for sharing them with us and you know that your mother is always with you….

  155. Oh Traci, my mom has been gone for 25 yrs and I still think of and miss her everyday. I remember when she went to heaven that I had never felt so alone in my whole life. My heart was totally broken. I still have some dishes of hers too and I cherish them also. God Bless, this is a walk that takes a lifetime, each day you will remember her. Hugs, Marty

  156. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, tender but powerful post! I, too, have shed tears and reflected on my own brokeness at loosing my father serveral years ago. It still hurts, but I know that he will always be with me in my heart and my memories. Prayers for you during a difficult time of year.

  157. Beautiful post–even though my makeup is now ruined. Started reading RC Sproul’s Surprised by Suffering as my Dad has recently received a devastating diagnosis. Not eager to walk through what may come but know that Jesus is already there and he is enough.


  158. Yesterday was the one month mark since my mom passed away (& it was the day after my birthday). I have spent hours on your blog, reading all I can about your mom & trying to find help in the healing process. My house is full of gifts from my mom, & I have been terrified of breaking something that holds so much meaning. I ache for you, & the pain I know you must have felt when the dish broke. thank you for sharing; it helps to know I am not alone in living with a grief so deep. I know that right now, it is God’s love keeping me afloat, & His blessings of a wonderful family, friends, & my precious baby girl that are helping me survive one day at a time.
    Blessings & love to you!

  159. This post gives me two motivations: 1. To soak up every moment with my loved ones because they won’t always be here. 2. To try and give my children as many happy memories with me so that their hearts will still be warmed with love even after I leave.
    Also, I had an idea!
    If you can find a bit of handwriting from your mother or grandmother, you can make a serving platter with their handwiring on it! The Reluctant Entertainer did that here:
    That way, they will always have a part in your celebration! I’m not sure if this will be possible, but an idea nonetheless.

  160. I held my breath as I read your post…I had to remind myself to breathe…I too lost my mother 8 yrs ago to Alzheimers. I still miss her just as you miss your mother. Perhaps, God knows when we need to cry! I cried with you over that dish! I don’t know you yet, I do know you. We are both daughters who lost the greatest love of our life. No matter how much our husbands or children love us…no love is as great as that of a mother. My heart, my tears and my prayers go out to you today!
    Warm Blessings
    Gmama Jane

  161. Traci, you have such a way with words. This was such a touching post. Those broken dishes I think relate to all of us. Trials have a way of breaking us down from day to day, but there is a beauty beyond every trial we may ever face. If we allow it too our trials bring us closer to God every day. His life on this earth was troubled at times as well. Crying out in the garden in anquish, hanging on that cross for sins He never committed. I imagine things must have looked grim to everyone who loved Him and witnessed His crucifixation. But oh the beauty that came out of it. Our lives may look grim at times, but I pray each and everyone of us can do what our Heavenly Father did. No matter what lies ahead…. to be able to look at our situation and see the beauty beyond the circumstance.

  162. So very sorry Traci. I wasn’t even there, but I feel like crying over your broken dishes. This post is so beautifully written. You are just amazing!

  163. Oh how the tears poured, reading this post. I literally got up and called my mom, and came back to my computer to say this: God bless you in this hard time. While we do not know each other, I hope that you feel the support. I get such joy from reading your posts- about your life and your darling family, and your mother gave you those things as well.

    My four year old recently used a Sharpie to color me a picture. On my grandmother’s cookbook. Her comments, her notes… ruined. And I was heartbroken. But I just smiled and set the book on a high shelf, and told him that I would keep that picture forever, because it would always remind me of him now, too. Lemons and lemonade or something…

    Anyway, hang in there and keep smiling. And keep writing- what a talent you have for evoking such strong feelings from all of your readers.

  164. I still have my Mom of 87 years… but my heart went out to you as I read this post…”things may be things”… but some things hold PRECIOUS MEMORIES FOR US.. I just sat here and cried with you as I read all about your sweet memories of your Mom and Grandmother …… God is good and I am SO INSPIRED AS I SEE THE PICTURE OF THE BEAUTY GROWING OUT OF THAT BROKEN PIECE OF CEMENT…. Thank you Jesus for being allllll that we need. Terri

  165. I am in tears with you. This is a beautiful post. I’ve lost both of my sweet parents Daddy 2007 and mom 2010. Holiday aren’t the same at all. My family tried so hard but it still hurts. I can relate on so many levels. I just found your blog after my mom passed away, and I wanted to thanks for for helping me in so many ways by just being you, your mom is so very proud of you. Cy is a wonderful man. You are so bless in so many ways…thanks again for this beautiful post…hugs Pat H

  166. Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry for your loss as many others have stated. I was wondering if you could perhaps use the broken pieces for something MOSAIC. It would be making something of beauty that you could look at daily & maybe later laugh about. It is most likely that your mother experienced a few broken dishes moments too.

  167. My sister-in-law sent me an email with your blog today. BROKEN. I am 40 and just lost my mom August 2011 to stage 4 lung cancer. She had undergone one round of radiation, when they found it had spread, started another round and she was just too sick and weak to do it. So our family made the decision with our mom, to bring her home with hospice. Those last 7 weeks with my mom were precious…. and she had all her children and husband of 57 years on her bed in her home when she passed away. I know Jesus as my saviour as did she, so I am thrilled knowing where she is, and that I will see her again someday. It still doesn’t stop the ache and sadness we are left with here. It is in the little things where she tends to show up. I take great comfort in your words, and hope that this will get easier. I know the Lord has walked me through this, without him I would have been lost. Bless you and your heart, and your mother would be so proud of you!

  168. What a beautiful post. I too am teary as I read your blog. I’m so sorry for the broken dishes. When my husband and I were moving from Hawaii to Utah, the moving company was packing special pieces in a china hutch. It wasn’t until I got to Utah that I found out that the two pieces I had received from my grandma’s china were broken. (I was extremely close to my grandma) More like shattered. At first I was so angry. How could people be so careless with something that meant so much to me? I cried and cried as I readied myself to throw them away. Then the thought came to me…..Melody, you may have lost a tangible part of your sweet grandma….but nothing can take away the special memories you have of her. I felt it was an answer…”a tender mercy” from the Lord helping me to LET GO of the physical pieces and cleave to the memories that I so cherished. That changed me that day. I still think about those “things.” But I do feel the Lord has helped me to get beyond the china. I loved what you said in your blog about being broken. Thank you for your perspective. You have a marvelous way of expressing yourself and isn’t it wonderful that you can express your religious feelings without ramifications?
    You have a wonderful caring husband too! What a lucky girl you are.
    May you feel the peace of the Savior especially during those difficult times. He loves us so. Your Mom must be so proud of you!

  169. Tears?Yes! I was just able to watch my first grandbaby born on January 1st. I am 44 yearss old and my mother passed away 6 years ago. I still miss her dearly. I wish she could have seen this beautiful baby girl I’m holding. What a Joy! No love like a “mother’s” so glad I get to share this first month with her as I live 2400 miles away. we will always miss our Moms.

  170. “Evoking such strong feelings from all of your readers” is putting it mildly, Julie. Traci, I hope you know there were hundreds of us standing right beside you, crying beside you. Our hearts go out to you, and we do understand.

  171. I shared a tear or two with you over this post. I lost my mom 15 1/2 years ago when my girls were 6 and 3. The holidays were the hardest, by far. I can tell you that as time has passed and we created our own Christmas (and other holiday) traditions it gets easier and now what comes to mind are the happy and fond memories. I keep telling myself this, as we lost my dad this past August and this was the first Christmas without him. It was not an easy holiday.

    Sending you hugs and good thoughts.

    God bless.

  172. When I read your post, it brought me back to our family Thanksgiving get together. My father was also digging around in lower cabinets in the kitchen trying to find a serving platter and that’s when the relish dish fell and smashed to pieces. My mother inherited it after her mother passed away about 11 years ago. It’s amazing how something so small can bring up so many memories and emotions. My mother was upset, but not about the plate mostly of missing her mother and what the dish represented- family get togethers, meals, holidays, etc. with her. Like regluing your baking dishes, I suggested to keep some of the larger pieces of the plate, placing them in a resin, making them into ornaments so each of us could have a piece of it. ~Thank you for sharing your story and letting us know that we are not alone in these situations. God Bless ~

  173. Dear Traci,
    I read your post this evening and I wish I had already washed my mascara off…no need to now. I am a mom of two girls and a grandma of a 2 year old boy. I can tell you that your mom treasured every moment she had with you and every opportunity she had to make things a little easier on you. She undoubtably (like me) could not believe the multiplying love that just seems to appear first with your own children and then with the grandchildren. I, for one, understand this from both sides. I could feel your heartbreak —and maybe those bowls broke to let the sunshine in. You know you were able to purge your carefully hidden pains and focus on the joy for the benefit of all those you love. Mom probably saw this and knew a little sunshine would help get through those dark feelings. She knew you would have Cy to hold you together. Love is a great bandaid. God Bless and I think you should plant something that grows in those cracked bowls…enjoy God’s majesty in rejuvenation ! This is the first time I have intruded into the personal space of a blog…Hugs.

  174. Traci I just read this posting and it made my heart so sad for you. You see 18 years ago I lost my sweet 14 year old son, Joshua. The pain is no where near where it used to be, but OH how I still miss him. Then last year on Feb 24 my younger son Jordan became a father for the first time and he named him Joshua…OH how it made my heart so full of joy. It seemed that finally our lives had some full circle and that missing part of my heart has been filled with so much love for my sweet grandson! When my Joshua died, my younger sister sent me a card and as I read it, I just knew that these words had to go on his headstone…and they did. It reminds me that just because I cannot see him anymore, his love and sweetness will forever be with me…until we meet again. I just wanted to share it with you…to remind you that even though your heart is as broken as those dishes are…one day it will be whole again. Here is the poem I am speaking of. Love and hugs to you.

    The Rose Still Grows Beyond The Wall

    Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
    Budded and blossomed in God’s free light:
    Watered and fed by morning dew,
    Shedding its sweetness day and night.
    As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
    Slowly rising to loftier height,
    It came to a crevice in the wall,
    Through which there shone a beam of light.
    Onward it crept with added strength
    With never a thought of fear or pride,
    It followed the light through the crevice length,
    And unfolded itself on the other side.
    The light, the dew, the broadening view
    Were found the same as they were before.
    And it lost itself in beauties new.
    Breathing its fragrance more and more.
    Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,
    And make our courage faint or fall?
    Nay, let us faith and hope receive,
    The rose still grows beyond the wall.
    Scattering fragrance far and wide,
    Just as it did in days of yore.
    Just as it did on the other side,
    Just as it will forevermore.

    By A.L.Frink

  175. Dear Traci,

    I popped over here this evening so I could be a follower of your blog. I fell in love with your writing from the heart, the gorgeous photographs and your fantastic kitchen makeover!

    After reading the last couple of postings about your mother, I’m so glad that I came back to join your blog. No matter what age we lose our mothers our hearts are broken. The caserole dish represented the memories of your mom and the breakage opened the floodgates for more healing. You are a beautiful soul. I lost my mom in January of 2010 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. The first year I experienced agonizing grief and barely made it through the day at work without having to run to the ladies room to cry. It’s a part of healing and grieve as long as you need to. You will always miss her but your heart will heal. I still cry at the oddest moments and I give myself permission to grieve. We all mourn our losses in individual ways. Do what is right for you. Keep blogging and writing about your feelings it will help the process. I love your tribute to her.

    Love and hugs,


  176. Well, I had tears fill my eyes immediately ad I started reading your story. The very same thing happened to a blue striped pitcher with sunflowers on it that my mom gave me for my birthday. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away.

    It’s been just 1 1/2 years since my precious mom passed away suddenly from sinus cancer. I do miss her terribly every day and cherish every gift that she ever gave me or my girls. One thing she did was take me to church as a young girl. She was an excellent singer and piano player and is well thought by every one she knew. I am so thankful for the precious memories of her and I do plan on seeing her again one day.

    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking experience and I do pray for a special peace for you. I think through this experience you’ve touched many hearts and lives. God bless you!

  177. Dear Traci,
    I want to thank you for your blog. I don’t exactly know how I hooked up to your blog, but it is real, it is life and it has helped me in so many ways. I thank you for being honest and being real. The way you share is so heart felt and has really spoke to me in more ways than you will ever know. God is using you in big ways in lives of people you don’t even know and I thank you for the encouragement in times of trials that I am going through as well as the way I used your comfort to share with a friend in her tough times. You know you never know how God is gonna use a story to help someone else in their trials. Thank you! God Bless You and your family!

  178. thank you so much for sharing this. It’s true we all have our broken places. thanks for being brave enough to share yours. One of mine is missing my grandma with whom I was very close. She passed on Christmas Eve many years ago when I was just a young woman and I was there when she went to be with Jesus. She said to me “I was there when you were born and came into this world, it’s fitting that you are here when I leave it.” She left me her silver and a pearl ring. A few years ago our home was broken into and there were only a few things stolen but one of them was my grandma’s pearl ring. I tore through the house making sure they hadn’t taken the silver, thankfully they hadn’t. But I sobbed for that ring, which I had treasured, and my husband held me (we have good husbands :-)). I’m so grateful that just months earlier at our wedding, I had the florist attach the ring to my bouquet (so that I could carry her with me at the wedding), and at least I have some pictures of it. Your are so fortunate to have that relationship with your mom here on this earth. Her work lives on in you. Often when I read your blog I think of what a great lady she must have been. Praying for you!!

  179. Broken hearts and broken dishes are a lot alike. Even though the cracks will always be there, they can be mended back together. Traci, put that dish back together in any way you can and in your darkest times let it always remind you that what once was broken can become whole again.

  180. I read this post yesterday on my phone, but wanted to wait until I got to the computer to comment. First of all, let me just say, I was SOBBING!! You are right, we all are broken in our own way & I find it so encouraging that you can find beauty in your broken place!! It’s so hard to do! It’s so hard to find the positives during the difficult times in our lives, but we have to trust in God & know that His plan is perfect. Thank you for that reminder!

    From reading about your mom on your blog, Cyndi’s blog, & Courtney’s blog, you can tell that she was an AMAZING woman. You can also tell that she had a huge impact on your lives! I am certain that she is looking down from heaven smiling at the three of you & your families! And I am certain that she is so, so proud of the women you’ve become & how the love of Christ shines through you all.

  181. Traci,
    I understand the pain and loss of losing your mother as I lost mine last November. I am so thankful that I found your blog this past year because I appreciate not only your passion and style, but even more I appreciate your vulnerability and transparency. Yes, we are all broken and PTL we are a work in progress! I began an amazing Bible study this year called The Healing Journey by Cyndy Sherwood which has been such an incredible blessing to me as I walk this new road without my precious mother. Isn’t it amazing that God cares so deeply and intimately for us AND our broken dishes? You are a blessing!

  182. You had me sobbing after reading this post. It is comforting to know that Jesus has suffered for our sorrows and carries our griefs. I hate to think of the day when my mother will pass on. I know that I will see her again and that we’ll be together for the eternities. Our mothers are such a big part of who we are, that it feels like our hearts are being ripped out of our chest, and we have to find the strength to go on living, and being happy. You are doing just that.

  183. Traci,
    I am so sorry you lost your mom. . Your mom sounds amazing (she’s in heaven so you will be reunited with her =^)).
    I am responding to your post as a survivor of cancer and as a mom. My kids are teens so the scare for me was not being there when they needed me (making it through middle school, high school, their graduation, college, marriage, and having kids). I have needed my mom through all of these things, so the thought of not being there for my kids and for my husband was unbearable.
    Thanks to family, friends, many prayers, and an amazing surgeon, I am cancer-free.
    I had an extremely rare cancer (not genetic). In fact cancer is not a prevalent disease in my family. So then I had to think, well, how have I been living that could have made me more prone to developing cancer. I am not into self-blame, but I believe in taking responsibility for how my life turns out.
    Many things of course that were so important are not now. I realize now that if I don’t step up for activities then someone else will. My health and family have to come first.
    So sleep, nutrition, mental well-being, quality time with family all have taken center stage. I realize and continue to realize that if I don’t take care of myself, then I might not be here for my family. I rest now when I need to and try to focus on the really important things in life.
    I loved Christmas this year. I have so much to be thankful for: Christ’s birth, having my family around me, and the blessing of good health.

  184. Oh my sweet sweet friend. I too have one broken dish in my cabinet. It’s a brown bowl that belonged to my Maw Maw. I know the pain is oh so deep. I lost my Brother a few years back and Christmas is just not the same. No words, no glue, no prayers can bring our loved ones back BUT…there will come a day! I believe in HIS promise and I’m standing with you. Hugs dear friend. May the Lord shine on your brokeness and send His Grace to comfort. Susie

  185. What a beautiful post and deep, meaningful sentiments. I cried while reading this for I too have lost my parents and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think of them.
    At times I’ll see an older gentleman driving along wearing a golf cap or see an eldery woman softly touching the face of a child and I think of my parents.
    I always say the pain never goes away, we just learn to live with it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  186. I just sat at my desk and cried through this post. I don’t know the feeling of losing a parent, but I’ve watched my mom grieve over losing her mother and I truly can’t imagine. I’m so glad you have such a wonderful husband who understands. HUGS!!

  187. Oh, dear heart, I completely understand your pain. I lost my mom when I was 20, such a long time ago, but on occasion I still break down in tears. This Christmas it was the only ornament I have left from my childhood that did it for me…I am so sorry about your treasures. I do however have an idea of how you could combine pieces of both those into a beautiful keepsake for yourself, and to be handed down. Why not have a bracelet or pendant made with them? Have you ever seen “Broken china jewelry”? Google it, some of it is just gorgeous and can turn a simple chard of china into a great treasure! Just a thought!

  188. Can you bare another response? I cried through out ‘Louder Than a Bomb”on the OWN last night and thought that I was finished crying (at least for a month). I cried so hard when I read this blog. Thank you for sharing your personal trials and victories and the reminder of who we need to turn to for healing. You (and your family) are an inspiration to me.

  189. I’m so sorry for your heartache and loss, Traci. Like you, I lost my mom (I was 12 – a long time ago) and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. While the loss is great and leaves a hole, God has shown me over and over again that He is a perfect Father with a perfect plan. He understands great loss, therefore understands our hurt like no one else, our Great Comforter. I pray that the sweet memories and laughter you shared with your mom will bring you comfort and much joy in the days to come, and that He blesses you with the peace that passes all understanding. Hugs to you.

  190. Traci, what a beautiful post! By the response, I know you recognize that your transparency has touched many. We all struggle with hurt and loss and you have blessed us by sharing your experience! I’m so sorry for your pain, but I am inspired and grateful for your example of faith! May God continue to bless you and your family (AND your blog, which blesses US!)

  191. Hey sweet friend–I read this post soon after you wrote it, but didn’t have time to leave a comment. I know it’s late to write now, but I still want to. . . because I want you to know how sorry I am that you broke your precious dishes. Isn’t it amazing how much a seemingly small thing can hurt? Of course it’s because the small things symbolize the big hurt. You know that you can never un-break those dishes, and you also know that you can never un-break your heart over the loss of your mom. I’m so sorry that it hurts so much. I remember that one time I saw a woman in a store talking to her mom about which wallpaper she should choose, and I just lost it. I wanted to talk to MY mom about wallpaper–and paint and parenting and cooking and good books and everything and nothing. Being reminded that I couldn’t talk to her seemed like more than I could bear.

    I know I’m rambling. I’ll shut up now. But I do want to add my voice and remind you that you are not alone. So many of us love you and care about you. We join you in suffering through the brokenness–and in celebrating the fact that one day we’ll be completely healed, just as your mom is now! Won’t it be awesome to celebrate all together?

    Love you, sweet friend. Every blessing to you.

  192. This just broke my heart. I have been sitting her crying reading this post (some could be blamed on my pregnant hormones). I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you. I love your blog & you just touch my heart every time I read it! Hugs & prayers for you!

  193. I know you wrote this post a few days ago and now have hundreds of comments but I really hope you read mine

    When I first found your blog about 2 years ago I felt connection to you because 1) you love the Lord and so do I and 2) You know the pain of loosing a mom and sadly so do I. I often read your posts and can relate so much to how you feel when it comes to missing your mom. I too have had moments when shopping or out when I see a mother/daughter duo that makes me long for my mom! Oh boy and Christmas is never going to be same without her.

    As I was reading this post it was like I knew exactly what you were going to say before I even read it! When I saw the title of this post and glanced at the first picture I immediately knew what it was going to be about! The reason why is because I wrote a post very similar back in 2009. It even had the same title!!

    Here’s the link if you’re interested in reading about it! I definitely know the pain you felt when you saw those broken pieces floor! I too cried rather SOBBED when I broke a ceramic bookend that was my moms.

    Thanks for sharing this story and I think gluing it back together and enjoying it on a shelf is a great idea!

    Blessing to you!!


  194. I just read this and cried and cried. I lost my mom, too, as well as my dad, 8 weeks apart last year. I know what those dishes mean to you, as I run my hands over many of the dishes and knickknacks my mom left for us to remember her by. The little mother/daughter moments you share will always live in your heart.
    Your mom was a beautiful lady, and now is a beautiful spirit who lives on in Heaven and within you. You will carry your mom inside you forever. Remarkable, isn’t it, that she carried you inside her at one time, and now you carry her inside your heart.

    God bless you, sweetie. I am a mom and a grandma, and your story just broke my heart. Just remember the dishes don’t hold the memories, they are just reminders. Jesus will heal all that is broken.

    Cherish your family and take care of them, and you will be a living tribute to your wonderful mom.

  195. Oh Taci, just read this and can hardly hold back my tears…………..having lost my mom, going on 6 years, I too had a similar situation last year this time. I was devastated! My piece was this beautiful plate in blue and white motif (which was my mom’s favorite colors) it was on top of a piece of furniture that had been covered up with a blanket and I went to move something and forgot it was there and it went crashing to the floor – in pieces!!! We were literally getting ready to go to a family Christmas when it happened. Needless to say I was not in good spirits. I totally understand how you felt and I am so sorry you had to go thru it……… other words can express us losing our mother’s – then it just plan “SUCKS”. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her or wish for her to be back! You spoke it very eloquently when referring to your faith. I am so blessed to have been brought up with faith and to have it be by my side during so many sad times and happy times in my life. Your mom is always in your heart – that is where I keep my mom – so close to me :)

  196. I was behind in my blog reading, so I was late to see this post. It broke my heart and I just wished I could run to you and hug you. I still have my mom(so grateful) but my sister-in-law lost her mom. I forwarded this post to her because I think it will be so comforting to her to read this and be able to share your brokenness. I know the holidays are so difficult after you lose an amazing person in your life. Your honesty, your pain, is very real and reads as such. I am praying that you are comforted by the knowledge your mom is in the perfect,peaceful place. I am so glad you have your sister to talk to. We all understand why you were crying, and perhaps that broken casserole dish will be all the more meaningful to you now. It is symbolic.

  197. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I cried as I read this. My Mom is 90 and I know my time with her won’t be long. I lost my Dad almost four years ago and I have several things that belonged to him. I cherish these items and they make me feel closer to him. Sometimes, I even talk to them. (I’m not nuts, just really sentimental…)

  198. Thank you for your heart-felt post. I lost my mom (age 63) to melanoma 7 weeks ago and our hearts are broken. Christmas was her favorite time of year and her birthday was this past Sunday. I still can’t believe she is gone and I won’t see her again on this earth. I miss her dearly. I miss her laughter. I miss her silly ways. I miss smelling her perfume on my clothes after she’d give me a big hug. And, I’m sad that my children won’t really remember her because they are so young now and don’t understand. I don’t know how people make it through all of this without faith. I remember crying out to God to help my sweet momma and praying for healing for her. I was in my bathroom looking for my cross necklace and I found it all tangled up with another necklace but shining in the light at me to pick it up. It was exactly how I felt at that moment. All tangled with everything out of wack and looking to God for direction and light. I know they say time heals all of this but I wonder how it will ever feel normal again. I just pray to God every day to get me through it. I know exactly how you feel and my heart is heavy for you too. Continue to honor your sweet mom with your beautiful writing and hang on to your faith to get you through.


  200. Traci, Thank you oh so much for sharing your story. This was my first Christmas without my Momma (she went on to glory in July) and I have had so many of those moments I’d have to write a book to share them. On top of that my daddy died December 26 twenty seven years ago, so the holidays have a sadness that I struggle with yearly. After one particularly tough episode I was just about ready to shut down and do as little as possible for Christmas when I had a “Momma moment”-where thoughts of her remind me of what she would do-and shutting down was not an option. Instead, I worked hard to make Christmas meaningful and fun for my family. It didn’t stop the crying spells but it did give me comfort in doing so many of the things she always did for us that made Christmas special. By sharing your heart and your faith, you are absolutely honoring your sweet Mother and keeping her alive through your words. What a blessing!

  201. Your words brought me to tears. I understand exactly how you felt about those dishes. I was very close to my Nana. After college I moved into her home once she couldn’t live on her own any more & therefore have many, many things that belonged to her. Of course some things have become lost, broken or worn throughout the years. I’m not talking about the “big” stuff either – it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant something may be – once it’s damaged, it’s like another part of her is gone and I can’t get it back. I feel like a fool sometimes having such an emotional attachment to tiny items instead of holding on to the real lessons she passed down to me. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this & for showing me I’m not alone in feeling this way about the small things.

  202. I guess I am a little late to the blog to read your broken post. I just found your blog, I do want to come back and read more when there is time.
    I wanted to say to you that I am sorry for your broken heart right now. It is a pain I understand all too well. In my case though things are a bit different. I am a 60 year old grand mother. My mother is still alive, but she is in such a bad shape that I am sure she would almost rather be gone. My mother suffered a stroke almost 8 years ago. A bad stroke (I know there are no good strokes, but this stroke left her in a useless body) She can not do anything for her self. She does not know who we are most of the time. She is like a 100 pound infant. She can not eat food. Only liquid through a feeding tube in her stomach. We lost my father to cancer about 2 years after her stroke. We have done our best for mother. My sister keeps my mother in her home and with the help of us kids (there are 5 of us) and 2 nurse aids we keep mom safe and as happy as it is possible for her to be. I wish I could talk to mother about things going on with my kids and grandkids. She just does not understand any of it any more. Looking at her is so hard. She looks like momma; yet she is not momma any more. I know too that she wants to be with our dad so very much. The few times she does speak it is always with a hurtful heart about Dad being gone. She went through a really bad time a few months ago where she thought dad was with another woman. That she had to get a divorce… was really hard…
    I just want to say something to you. When you are out doing your thrifting look for another dish like the ones you lost. No, it will not be the same; but you can use the dish as a replacement and keep the one glued together too.
    I have several of my grandmother’s hand written recipes in my kitchen that I framed. Just looking at those framed words make me happy.

  203. I loved this…when I saw your photo of the flower growing up out of the broken concrete it reminded me of our years spent in missions to Mexico. I remember standing in the parking lot one hot, dry afternoon weeping over something I had just seen. Suddenly I looked down and saw a small purple flower growing just exactly like your photo. I remember thinking, “God is here. Even in this dry and barren land, beauty will rise.” I remember being very comforted by that small miracle; it became a picture of renewed hope for me. I don’t even know how I happened on your blog – but God knows.


  204. We all have those broken places in our lives and this story sounds like something I will do when my own mom is gone. It doesn’t take much to upset those tender places sometimes huh? Thank you for sharing this story with us.

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