Monday, February 3, 2014


By now you know that my beloved and I are going through a tough time together. I am finding myself in a continuous state of kintsugi. This is the Japanese art of repairing shattered pottery with gold to create a perfectly imperfect piece of beauty, one that reflects its history and experience. I am shattered. I am continuously repaired. I am re-formed every single day though my purpose remains firm - to help Kevin on this journey in every way I can.

Below is an excerpt of a note I sent to my family, describing how I feel. But really, the simplest way to say it is that I have become a piece of kintsugi.


I do not know the words to describe what I'm feeling. I come up with all kinds of metaphors and similes; none are accurate or strong enough. I've said I feel like a ruined city, lifeless and abandoned, but that's not entirely true because I am thinking so hard and loving so much. My ability to cope changes from moment to moment, depending on what I'm facing, it's as though I have shattered into several Lauras. 

Shattered is a good word for it. 

There is the Laura who howls. She shows up every couple of days and makes noises the likes of which I didn't know I could produce. She is composed of grief and rage.  There is the Laura who is thinking, analyzing, figuring out how to fight. She is around in the hospital and whenever I have to strategize. She is really, really smart. I'm glad she's here. There is the Laura that believes we can beat this, that holds hope, because if I don't hold hope then the first Laura takes over. There is the Laura that knows the statistical outcomes and timelines. She keeps whispering in my ear and is, frankly, not yet useful. There are so many Lauras right now, each one of them with their own needs and voices. I suppose this isn't uncommon or even a bad way of coping with it. I remain functional until I am not, then I pick up again and keep moving on.

I hate this. I hate that Kevin is suffering like this. I hate that the universe could dare give me such love, such happiness, such hope and then do this. I am also aware that this is a deep and powerful lesson in love, because frankly that really is all I have. And I am being so well loved by people I don't even know. I counted it up and think there are probably in excess of 1000 people praying for Kevin. Maybe it means something for his health, maybe it doesn't, but it does mean that people are kind. People love. We are creatures composed of hope, believing our faith makes a difference in the face of the universe. We must hope.

I hope that whatever happens (and here the hopeful Laura and the statistician square off) he is able to make decisions that give him the best journey he can find. I hope I remain strong and functional throughout. I hope. Because I can't not. 

There are microscopic moments of grace, even now and I'm sure throughout this journey. I hope I remember to see them. If this situation won't simply become a bad dream, then I would not be anywhere but here. With him. Walking beside him.

I love him so much. I have been so lucky and, in some twisty little way, still am, because I have not forgotten, because I have had 15 years and may have more, because. I am loved and am able to love in turn.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Laura,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Kevin during this difficult time. Even though I have only met Kevin once he definitely had an impact on my life. I remember being introduced to him by Deanna and he said so "Tell me about yourself, what is your story?" It is so rare to find people who truly want to listen to who you are ,that make you feel like as a person you matter, that your voice is important. He is one of those rare individuals. I can't offer much except for my continued prayers. My heart and thoughts are with both of you.

    1. Thanks Heidi. Keep him in your heart, he is an amazing man.

  2. keeping you both in my heart, Laura.

  3. I love all the Lauras. More prayers for you,and all the Kevins too.

  4. I also love all the Laura's, even the crazy scary one!

  5. Exquisitely expressed. There are also the hundreds of Lauras and Kevins you know of, but don't really know -- the ones riding in the hearts of all of us who wish we could DO something besides keep vigil and hope.


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