I was just thinking of a puzzle. At birth we have two pieces to the puzzle, the mother and the father. Going forward, other pieces are added as significant people enter our life and consciousness. Pieces are acquired from siblings and other family members, lovers, friends, pets, and so on. Moving through life, pieces fall away. The loss of a mother- or father-shaped piece leaves a gap of such distinct dimensions and contours that it can't be replaced. Others, too, the most precious pieces, are found not to be interchangeable. A loved one is gone, others acquired, but the empty spaces, each defined by the dark negative space of absence, is not plugged in by another. New pieces stretch out the parameters of the puzzle, but black voids like so many missing teeth remain. One who lives a long life gazes upon a puzzle comprised more of the void than the design. In time you and I -- our contours soften by age, our bright colors somewhat dimmed, but unique in definition -- will leave the puzzles of others. Like the precious parts we've lost, we will leave in our wake the shape that will remain unfilled, but the hope of continued expansion.