by Dr. Ted Olsen
It was a warm day, like any other spring morning, when my wife and I drove to visit our son in Denver. We parked in a lot that didn’t have any shade. We observed people jogging on the sidewalk, people watching a young girl pretend to swashbuckle as she showed off her bobbles in her colorful leotard.
An unfamiliar street runner made a u-turn and walked up to my wife and me. His voice was low, but I knew right away that this guy was going to run into our car. We had no idea that this would be the last encounter we would have with this runner.
Our son would not return, and I began to find out why.
The day changed after we lost our son because our son was not there to share the joy of spring and the delight of being with me. That summer I have gone on runs outside the house for the most part. I have found that I become somewhat introspective and become interested in the hidden world around me.
And I wonder if it is only because I am missing my son that these thoughts occur to me more. Maybe as I am out in nature I am physically experiencing him. He is not with me in the house; he is out there, with nature. The quiet time that we miss as a family will show itself in other ways.
The profound devastation of losing a child takes a physical toll on the heart. There is no question as to the pain that will last for the rest of my life. So let me share with you what has worked so far.
For me, it has been finding the seed and growing it. And I have written about this process several times in my books, including “Growing Seeds of Love” and “The Container Museum.”
Through having my seed planted each year, through an act of love that follows my soul through the seasons, I discover that each year I am getting closer to my son. This must be what plants the seed within me. It may seem ironic that Mother Nature has “colored” me white, but it is not a total loss to me; there is always the seed that has been planted to bring more love.
For me the most beautiful day comes when I see a great big apple on the tree next to our house. To this day I can smell it, see it and hear it. My son and I would have never been that close without the love and support of my wife and mother, as well as the planting of that seed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Ted Olsen is author of “The Container Museum,” a full-color cookbook that provides can’t-wait recipes for your kitchen and easy-to-use tips on how to shop for and store your reusable containers.)
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