Sometimes I Guess at Sudoku

One post away went my thinking. One post away.

But from what? Continuity? Fame? Competency? Joy?

It’s been a month of reflection friends, on deep and meaningful levels. My Mom passed away last month. Since August the death of my Mom brings the total to six, of friends who lost a parent. Add that to those who received diagnosis of terminal disease, and it’s been a sobering time.

Not in a wholly negative way. At this point I’m judging it as the type of kick needed to focus my widely scattered efforts in the writing realm. As in any worthwhile life pursuit, writing requires a lot of reading, learning, pondering, and finally, acting.

My actions these past months have been circular, as if stuck in a round-about, with direction signs clouded by fog. The knowledge trench was getting deeper each circuit, but outward appearances showed little progress.

Sometimes, we don’t know which turn-out on our roadway serves as best choice. Sometimes we have to guess, try each path as presented, and see where it leads.

And that’s OK.

It’s the constant meetings with death that are making it OK in my thinking.

Like playing Sudoku, I don’t have to have the right answer every time – or even the first time.

I just have to keep trying. God will take care of the rest.

Life can be a puzzle numbered up in queue,
rolling out confusion – things you ought to do.
Still, in thinking bigger than the daily grind,
sometimes there’s an answer waiting for our ‘find’.
Focus on the wonder waiting in the wings;
quick atone with sorrow for repentant flings.
Hold to honest effort, made with love as goal;
let each moment shape you as He makes you whole.


May Reflection find you moving – forward I guess?
Happy Rhyming, Friends!


  1. Clarisa Miller

    Hello! It’s been a long time!
    First, I want to extend my condolences to you and your family. Comforting hugs to go along and healing prayers too!
    Second, I am glad I got this email… linking to your blog… I haven’t been on the aite to read and have not written poems lately… Moved to DE, although my house in NJ still on the market. (so I kind of going back and forth still) Third, I’ll try to see more if your work here! I have not opened over thousand poems from the site… 😔😩. Take care and keep in touch! miss you guys!

    1. Post

      What a lovely gift to see your name in the comments Clarisa! Thank you for the kind condolences and comforting hugs – we can never have too many of those! I understand totally about the moving – it’s not easy. I’ve gotten a few more blog posts put up here, but not more poetry (other than the short rhyme I try to include with every post). I know how easy it is to get behind. With the trips back and forth to KS where my parents live, I haven’t spent as much time online either. I hope once you get settled in again you’ll be back often, both here, and in the zone! Keep writing – even if it’s scribbles on scraps of paper – and then share it with us when you’re able!

  2. Gabe

    Paula, I’m sorry to hear that you and your circle of friends have been forced into this cycle of reflection caused by loss of family members.

    However, I’m encouraged by your observation (and the implied persistence) that we will endure, even if we don’t get it right the first time!

    1. Post

      Thanks Gabe. It’s tough to be objective when the cross hits close to home. But reflection, in my book, is generally a healthy thing. Just having passed Thanksgiving, there were a lot of happy memories on tap to help the healing. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Suzanne

    Paula :
    I like your poem. It hits home.
    Even more, I am struck by the following lines from your blog:
    ‘My actions these past months have been circular, as if stuck in a round-about, with direction signs clouded by fog.’
    You and I have “talked” about our writing, and this, though not a rhyme hit me in the gut. You see, my Mother passed away right before Thanksgiving and what you wrote here is a universal, bullseye effect. Like you, I have a handful of friends that have also lost parents at the end of this year. As we have shared and reflected and attempted to sift our feelings – it is your words that have best described this process of grief.
    Love you, Paula. Keep writing. Good work !! Grateful to call you my friend!
    Love, Suzanne

    1. Post

      Oh Suzanne – I should have started with reading this comment…I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing – may her soul rest in peace.

      There truly are some things that can’t be imagined. I think the loss of someone as pivotal in your life as a parent, is one of them. They are our anchors, our history, our staunchest advocates (I’m idealizing a bit, I know, but often times it’s true). I’ve even heard people who were estranged from parents talk about how much they miss them once they’ve died.

      I feel blessed to believe that Mom is nearer now than ever. It’s different, yes. I miss hearing her voice and seeing her smile and picking up the phone to just chat about anything. But every time I feel sad, I think about how very blessed I am to have these memories. I think about how she is where I hope to be, without pain or sadness. I believe in the Communion of Saints, resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting – and this provides great solace.

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m grateful that thoughts I was given to share find a mark to echo or soothe your own and others’ feelings.

      Love you too, dear poetess. We’ll both keep writing, and encouraging one another as we go, OK?


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