The official site of author Ruth McLeod-Kearns

Ruth McLeod-Kearns is an advocate for opiate/heroin overdose, author, creator of the I'll Bring the Coffee blog series and a contributing writer for Things Women Want Freedom of Expression magazines.

Here, you can connect with the author, follow her social media accounts and download the thought-provoking novelettes. As always, she'll bring the coffee.

His Life Is A Puzzle

My son’s life has turned into a country song.  His girl left, his dog died, his heart is in a million pieces.  I watch him cry, I hold him, wipe his eyes, but nothing helps.  I was very angry at her for leaving him, but then she is also a kid, and I really am in her gratitude for doing this now instead of after marrying him, and starting a family.  How much worse that would have been?  


After the dog died, I thought about how incredibly sad he was, and it didn’t take a genius to realize that she would be in as much pain.  So I sucked it up, wrote her a note telling her I was sorry about the dog, knowing she loved the pup too.  She replied her thanks for the note, and asked me to be there for Lex.  I wrote that I would, wished her the best and called it an end to our relationship.  (mine and hers)


He is healing, I know she is as well.  He feels a bit stronger with every rise and fall of  the moon, and I am happy he is thinking in terms of his life and the tomorrows that no longer involve her.


Yesterday we were floating in the pool.  This is a new thing for us, but I look forward to it every day now.  I looked at him and realized his heart, his life must feel like a puzzle.  A million pieces with the cover of a luring promise that the pieces will fit back together.  He speaks with terms of hope now instead of doom.  We have re-done his apartment, making it his and not theirs.  I say nothing negative about her, and he doesn’t try and convince me that she has nothing to feel bad about.


And so piece by piece we have worked on the jigsaw that has become his life.  I would estimate that we have the border complete.  Perhaps there is a little corner that has started to come together and the visual is recognizable now.  He is getting faster with each piece.  What I have learned is the work has to be done by him.  It is his puzzle, his heart, his life.  It is all I can do sometimes to not yell “that one!  It goes right there.”  But I don’t because if he can’t put it back on his own, what have I armed him with for the life that doesn’t include his mom?


His life is a puzzle.  It will be beautiful one day.  Complete, and whole.  Safety will be his savior, and love that will one day grow strong.  He cannot see that far in advance now, but he trusts that I am right when I tell him such things.


Yesterday, he hugged and kissed me goodbye as we left for a camping trip.  The grizzle of his beard erased the sweet “so long”s we used to share as he left for school.  I was the protector then.  Now I am the audience cheering him on.  I hate this role I have had to adapt as my own.  I hate that he has cried many more times than laughed in the last few weeks.  I am sad the dog died.  Symbolic and ironic that the one pet they got as a couple passed away within the week the relationship was buried as well.


His life has been a puzzle.  Not a small one, but a big one with a zillion little pieces that do not make sense to him right now.  But we have the border and a good solid corner.  That is enough for hope, and he feels it as well.


I wonder on the day he marries, if this time will enter his mind at all?  I can see the good and the bad for both scenarios.  Yet I know that the healthiest, happiest way this will unfold is a picture complete with the edges barely visible.  The memories faint of the first love who broke his heart.  The dog who died, and the hours we floated in  the pool with loaded silence.


All of us have had our puzzles.  With enough perseverance, it will turn into a picture, not just a border and a corner, but a wonderful view of a heart healed.  Love is as powerful as it is bitter sometimes.  He is learning this.  There are fewer pieces, with each moment of healing.  He will be alright.  I wish her the best.  I mean it.  They are kids.  I must remember that.  But today, he looks for another piece.  The puzzle needs to be completed for this to be behind him.  It is a great picture!  I can’t wait to see it whole.  To see him whole.  It is a beautiful puzzle indeed.

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Understanding the Epidemic: Drug overdose deaths continued to increase in 2015", 12/16/16