The Broken (Not Yet Unbroken) Circle…

We recently did a family outing to hear a (very good) Johnny Cash tribute band (okay, so maybe I am just a bit redneck). They took requests, and for some reason, my kids know “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

The band played, but as good as they were, I didn’t like their version. It was the old version that started with “Daddy sang bass, Mama sang tenor.”

I kept going back to what I thought was the Alan Jackson version, but really it was the Randy Travis version. I encourage you to visit it on YouTube at

Funny, but I always substitute “Gramma” for Mother. Then I get quiet. I remember all the good times I shared with my maternal grandmother. Then I get sentimental thinking of all the times we’ve missed with her and thinking of all the coffee we should be having discussing religion and politics and work and family.

Then I remember my father, my paternal grandmother, my husband’s grandmother, the great-aunt my mother was named for…

And I feel as broken as my family circle.

I still have life and breath, so way down deep in a round arc hope is hiding. I have to have hope that if I follow the still, small Voice, I will see them again. I have to have hope that their wit and wisdom, their advice, their humor isn’t lost forever; it is buried somewhere deep inside my heart, ready for retrieval when necessary.

Hope fuels me to create good times for my kids, the kind of good times that these people have given me, so that when their circle is badly broken, they will have a future full of hopes and dreams of the unbroken circle.

That kind of hope will never disappoint.


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