Shaken and Stirred

“Life is like a snowglobe, often it’s prettiest AFTER it’s been turned upside-down.” ~ Unknown

I cannot believe it’s mid-March. I’ve barely recovered from the clock leaping forward, yet today marks the first day of spring. Still, raindrops, soggy snowflakes and sunshine made intermittent appearances yesterday accompanied by strong winds which whistled through the cracks and crevices of this old house, sounding much like a boiling teapot. The weather and calendar are a contradiction.

Snow Geese

Snow geese have also been back in abundance for their annual conference on the Cohansey. As the shutter on my camera snapped, thousands took flight at once. It was a surreal experience, as if I were in a shaken snow globe; a separate world within this world.

Snow Geese Flight

That magical moment made me consider life. We all reside in the same world in separate snow globes — our homes, relationships, jobs, blogs, to name a few. I envisioned God’s collection of snow globes displayed on a shelf, always under his watchful eye, sometimes in his hands, sometimes shaken up a bit.

Snow Globe

… And I was shaken up a bit recently. I have a (half) sister I never met. We were raised in separate ‘snow globes’ and learned of each other as young adults. Timing, circumstances and distance kept us apart, but our relationship grew via phone calls, letters, emails and Facebook. We planned on meeting this summer.


Recently Denise was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Within a few short weeks and after completing eight of the ten scheduled rounds of chemo, she was sent home and died peacefully surrounded by her family.

How many of your somedays have turned into nevers?


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

18 Responses to Shaken and Stirred

  1. Terri March 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Just received your post …. how beautiful the snow geese are…. and how true.. that this life can be shaken a bit on occasion… I choose to cling to the one who created me to begin with… I have learned I can trust him.. even in a “Snow Storm”….. How sad that you did not get to meet your sister in person…BUT.. how amazing that you were able to converse and get to know one another via all our “Modern Conveniences”…. thank you for sharing today!! Blessings

  2. rhonda @ blue creek Home March 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Hi Deborah,
    Again, I want to thank you for my surprise that arrived in my mailbox. I was so touched, friend. And, so very sorry about your half sister.
    Our weather is crazy here too, but you can tell the woods are about to burst out in her glorious colors -buds everywhere, but it’s cool today.
    This is ‘tornado’ season for the South and we got a big taste of it on Monday. Nothing drastic here, some wind and hail, but North of us, where my family is, it was bad. Two siblings lost a lot of their old trees on their property and some roof damage but thank God, they are all okay.
    I hope you have a blessed Easter

  3. Beth March 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    So sorry for your loss. I love your snow globe thoughts. A wonderful way to think of our lives. The geese picture is spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sue March 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    How sad that you never got to meet your half sister in person…how blessed that you got to know her through phone calls/letters/emails/facebook! I love the thought that God has the snowglobes of our lives on a shelf watching us and most of all that he has us in his hands at times….that made my heart sing!! Thank you for this post…made my day!!

  5. Kim P March 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Oh Deborah, I’m so sorry for your loss.
    It’s truly a shame that you didn’t get to spend more time with your new found family.
    I love your theory of our lives as a snow globe in God’s hands. It would explain so much.

  6. Parsley March 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Seems like a double loss, really. I know the pain is deep. I don’t know why we go through these such things but I do know we are never alone.

  7. Laura Ingalls Gunn March 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Oh my friend. My dear friend. The nevers. Yes, sadly I know them. My head hangs in my hands as tears fall for your never. I am SO very sorry that you missed a chance here on earth, but remember, there is heaven. Praise God for that.

  8. Rene Foust March 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    The geese were stunning and a wonderful representation of chaos….otherwise known as life. So sorry to hear about your half sister, so sorry you didn’t actually get to meet her. God is wonderful and mysterious at times.

  9. Sally March 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    What a myriad of emotions you must be experiencing Deborah! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  10. Cindy Tuning March 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    I’m so sorry Deborah about your loss.The words “She’s in a better place” may or may not bring comfort and though they are only words..thank God for them. Although it was not meant to be that you stood before each other,it was words that were your connection.Spring is right around the corner.

  11. Sue in Atlanta March 21, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    So sad to hear that you never got to meet your half sister….that must have left you with a small hole in your heart…..but you have the memories of the phone calls and letters….Life is strange and I never thought of it as happening in a snow globe…My favorite show of all time was St. Elsewhere and in the last episode the young boy who was autistic sat on the LR floor with his grandfather in the room (who was actually the head of the hospital ) and his father…just a blue collar worker walked in (who was one of the head doctors) And when he asked what the boy did all day while he was gone the grandfather said “he just sits there all day and looks at that snow globe”…..and they moved in on the globe and inside was the hospital St. Elsewhere…..a stunning ending to a series…..the entire series was all in this boys mind…..I was really blown away by it….your post reminded me of it……

  12. Sharon March 21, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Hi Deborah,

    I have always loved the magical look of snow globes and really liked the idea of each of us in our own plus thinking of being in God’s collection. I was very sorry to read about the recent loss of your half-sister. We all have our list of good intentions. I hope you have many lovely memories of your contacts with her to cherish. You can still look forward to seeing her in the proper time in another place. I hope you are warm and cozy in your home today. I’m going to go get my second cup of coffee and will be thinking of you. -Sharon

  13. Lisa Palmese March 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Oh My Deborah,
    I am so Sorry When i seen that Picture of sisters I just thought What a Beautiful Picture.
    This just is heart breaking and I knew and I Felt something was wrong. My Pain and Your
    Pain is the Same. I pain that Knowone can tell us when to get over or when to stop crying.
    Yet We Still have to Go On With Our Lives and Really I Just want to Stay in Bed and wait for my Mother. I Know I am sure Your Sister would of and will Love You. You are an Amazing Person with a Beautiful Soul and Gift of Reaching Out to Others. It is so Sad there are So Many Other’s that are like us.I just wish you Peace and Love and Prayer. I am so sorry you lost your sister but know you have a friend here. With so Much Love and Understanding I am here for you and Yes although personal I am Sharing this post because We are not Alone. And This just might help someone even if it’s only one person
    than God is Good Peace & Love Lisa

  14. Linda March 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I’m so sorry. No words can express or soothe what you are feeling. Linda

  15. Zuzu March 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I am so sorry, Deborah. My heart breaks and I cry with you.

    All I know is that the time we share is a gift – no matter how long or how short the time we have together. My sister has been gone for a little over 6 years now, and although I miss her terribly, I can smile now when I “hear” her call me Chicky or imagine what she would say to something goofy I did. I can still see my mom in her pink tennis shoes blowing me a kiss. My son’s first born died when he was only 10 days old, but I can still feel the perfect love he brought to us.

    Your sister heard your voice, heard and read your thoughts and shared feelings – and you received these gifts from her. It doesn’t feel like it now, but just knowing that you shared this connection – this very special relationship – in time the hurt will float away, and all you will feel is great love.

    Sending love your way,

  16. lisa moran/Bilancia Designs March 23, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Dear Deborah~

    I share with all the others my deepest sympthy with the loss of your sister. I can only imagine how’re feeling at this time….
    I believe with all my heart your relationship with your sister, though it may have been long distance in miles, was as close to home and your heart as possible. The fact that you “found” each other after so many years was a gift to both of you.
    I believe that we will all be reunited with our loved ones one day. No illnesses, no sorrow, only love will bring us together again.
    I hope the wonderful memories of your sister will carry you through this difficult time. Remember how happy you both felt finding each other… her memory will be a part of you forever.
    Sending you warm hugs and much love, my friend,
    Lisa xoxo

  17. Jennifer March 30, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    OH Deborah I’m just so sorry that you weren’t able to meet your sister in person. Erick had a “surprise” just like that…he met his half brother who had been kept secret for quite a while; luckily his amazing mom was incredibly generous and had him over often so they could foster a relationship. Shaken and stirred for sure!

  18. Stephenie May 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    I don’t know how I missed this post. Actually, I do know – work, pregnancy, busy schedule etc . . . but I generally read ALL of your posts, since I’m a subscriber – even if I have to read them on my phone. Anyway – I’ve been thinking of you and haven’t seen a post come through in a while so I figured I’d come over and check on you.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s heartbreaking really – and one of my biggest fears — that my somedays will become “nevers.” I am always fearful of this when people are ill and I need to make a decision to travel to see them. I don’t want any regrets.

    Rest assured you will meet your sister after this life and know she is in a place without pain. :-)

    Love your snowglobe metaphor.

    Thinking of you every time I pull in my driveway and see that beautiful butterfly bush you sent to me! It’s thriving! I hope you are well.


Leave a Reply