Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fitting the Pieces Together

This past year I put together the largest jigsaw puzzle I have ever done- 3,000 black, grey and white pieces of Picasso’s Guernica. It was more challenging than expected, and took a very long time. When it was finished, I couldn’t bear to take it apart, so we glued it, and framed it, and hung it on my son’s bedroom wall (It has since traveled off to college with him). At the end of the whole process, I could stand back and appreciate the art; in the midst of putting it together, however, all I saw was black and white and grey. There were just hours and hours of matching shade variances, looking for matching lines and patterns, and testing to see if pieces fit together. At times, I didn’t want to continue (I am way too OCD to stop in the middle though!); I didn’t want to look for one more piece. Adding to the difficulty of the puzzle, as if the sheer number of pieces wasn’t daunting enough, is the fact that all the pieces were virtually the same size and basic shape! Some puzzles provide such random sizes and crazy shapes that putting it together seems easy. In the end, I was rewarded with a nice conversation piece, and my son has something to look at in his dorm besides white cinder block walls.

Over the last few months, I have become a medical jigsaw puzzle. I have had new symptoms that didn’t fit any specific, common diagnosis. I have undergone more tests than I care to remember. Just like putting together the Guernica puzzle, it was difficult at times to focus on the bigger picture-the finished product. Both my doctor and I had to take a step back at times and get a glimpse of the larger puzzle and stop comparing lines, colors and sizes. I am thankful that we live so near Chicago and have access to great hospitals. I am grateful that I have a doctor who enjoys putting together puzzles as much as I do. He wasn’t willing to quit in the middle either. He asked for help from colleagues to complete the whole puzzle (now would be a good time to give thanks to my daughter, whom I mercilessly begged to help me finish my Picasso puzzle-love you girly!).

Hopefully, by the end of the week, the “puzzle” will be put together and finally finished; and I will be updating you with some answers (Lord willing). In the meantime, are there any “puzzles” in your life that you feel like giving up on? Do you get bogged down in the details and forget you are working on a masterpiece?

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