The Missing Piece

Don’t you hate it when you focus on what you’re missing rather than on what you have? You work so hard putting the pieces together, making order out of chaos, turning a meaningless mess into something beautiful. Day after day, week after week, you see how far you’ve come, are actually proud of your progress towards your goal, but that one missing piece, the piece that no matter how much you have searched, how much you have pleaded with a higher being, remains illusive, out of your grasp forever. It negates all that you have strived for, all the good work you have done. It makes you realize that some things are out of your grasp, no matter how much you wish they could be different. Then you have to decide whether to throw up your hands and give up, or muster the courage to go bravely on and ignore what is missing and rejoice in what you have achieved.


I have worked for months on this puzzle and all I have left is the sky. But see that little white spot below the ship on the right? That piece is missing. No, I did not lose it. I have a rule when I do jigsaw puzzles: Never vacuum the floor until a puzzle has been completed. I have looked under furniture and lifted seat cushions. The piece is not there. It never was there. The puzzle company sent me 1,999 pieces of a 2,000-piece puzzle, and I am steamed. I thought of quitting, but I’ve spent so much time on this darn thing. Don’t you hate it when you’re missing a piece? Oh, you thought I was talking about life?

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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39 Responses to The Missing Piece

  1. Margie says:

    Welcome back to the blogging world – I missed you!
    I had a puzzle with a missing piece too, and was about to contact the puzzle company when I ran my hand over top of the puzzle and found the piece patiently sitting on top of another piece of similar shape and colour… I must need ‘puzzle’ glasses or something…

    • Coming East says:

      Haha, Margie! Glad you found that missing piece. Believe me, George and I have searched high and low. That darn piece is not there. We should finish the puzzle this weekend, and I’m going to take a picture of it with the missing piece and send it to Milton Bradley. I hope I get a response.

  2. pattisj says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s a Sharpie about that color…

  3. Amy says:

    I thought you were talking about life, Susan. Clever!

  4. dorannrule says:

    Welcome back! You have definitely been the “missing piece” an sorely missed in the blog-us-fear! And now you’re found. Stay with us! 🙂

  5. Huffygirl says:

    Maybe that is why I don’t like jig saw puzzles.

  6. “I’m looking for my missing piece. Looking for my missing piece. Well fleece my knees and grease my bees. I’m looking for my missing piece.” – Shel Silverstein

  7. Missing pieces drive me crazy in puzzles and life too. It sure is good to have you back here in the blogging world again. I believe you’ve been one of your readers’ missing pieces. 😉

  8. John Hric says:

    It would not drive me crazy. That is only a short walk. Life is full of ‘missing’ pieces. Some are only missing in our own minds. I must be from the glass is half full school. Either way if it starts to bug me I will opt for a trip to the garden or the woods and savor the missing pieces ( and present pieces too). Nice post !

  9. I love puzzles and I must say your organization of the pieces is impressive. I certainly hope it shows up in the end. Glad to have you back in my Reader!

  10. Patti Ross says:

    Love it! A missing piece would drive me crazy too. But I also love the analogy: Life is like a box of puzzle pieces. You have to work at putting things together so they make sense and sometimes pieces are just missing. Yikes!

  11. lulu says:

    Very clever to use a puzzle as an analogy for life. There’s truth in what you say.

  12. I appreciate this post. I had written about this year being personal and pursuing my goals and benchmarks. I have spent time and effort on my projects. And yes it can get frustrating at times. But it helps to see the benefits of the labor put into your achievements and accomplishments. This post is a good read. I can relate.

  13. That would drive me nuts too. I don’t do jigsaws anymore because I’m the only one who does them and then become obsessed and stay up way too late! Good for you!

    • Coming East says:

      My brother, sister and I used to do them all the time with my mother when we were growing up. I haven’t done one in years. My husband was supposed to be my partner in this one, but I think he has only done about an eighth of it. The sky is tough.

  14. I bet that missing piece is in with the sky pieces, unless of course you have tried all of those pieces. I have done puzzles where we were one piece short, it is so frustrating, and yes, this applies to life too. Great post! I am enjoying your words once more, and it is a blessing in my life. Thank you! DAF

  15. Write to the company and send them your blog.

  16. Ah, in life as in puzzles ~ always the missing piece! Perhaps this is your cue to get out your paints and create that which is missing in mass produced form? Is that a UCONN photo? So nice to share my morning coffee with your words and thoughts again.

  17. Oh dear! I would feel a bit incomplete too, if there was just one missing. btw I googled making your own puzzle from a photo (you have such beautiful photos of Connecticut) but they are certainly pricey. Good luck finding your next project and all its pieces.

  18. Dianna says:

    Oh, no….! That’s a beautiful photo. Were you planning to frame it once it’s complete?

    • Coming East says:

      No, we don’t frame our puzzles, but we like to keep them and do them again years later. Wish we had kept some of our old ones. We like scenes of New England, and they are hard to find.

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