A Gem in the too Hard Basket

I began to write Schicksal five years before its publication. Now a year after publication another epiphany dawns …….

I remember  NYE when I sat on the floor before a laundry basket; dubbed the too hard basket. The unit had been packed up after my father’s death and I purchased a house by the sea, realizing a dream.


Nearly everything was ready for the move. In two short weeks a white van would transport the boxes to our new beginning. I had sorted it all, except the too hard basket, shirking it until the end.

As the year drew rapidly to a close, the basket sat there, one of the last things brought home. How could such an innocuous piece of plastic be so daunting? Well into the afternoon, I said it, “No more, this is not coming into a new year with me.”

Barely able to touch it, I tipped it out onto the floor creating immediate chaos. Then I began touching the past, the memories and the rawness of my grief. It took time and energy but the pile began to disappear.

I cried. I cried some more. My children milled around bringing me tissues and cups of tea. They cried.

Then I came upon them, photos, images of the past, a life I had not been privy to. Exhausted and confused I scanned the images, unable to identify the people, the places or the circumstances. I began to toss them in my out pile.

My head throbbed. My heart ached.

My children in their infinite wisdom picked them up and collected them, each and every one, steadily refusing to let the photos go. Now they have grown scattering but the photos remained and as I wrote I took them many times looking for validation of my direction.

Last week I looked again, seeing clearly with fresh eyes. A beautiful woman with a necklace rested on my lap. My eye focused suddenly on her necklace, a piece of jewelry now owned by one of my daughters. It jumped out at me.

She is part of the story. She is my Louisa. Unconsciously I had been guided to recreate her, to include her love for my mother in Schicksal. The insight touched my heart with a profound knowing that I had been guided when writing my parent’s story.

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