Posted by: Kathy | December 16, 2011

The Missing Piece

Every night my daughter needs to read for 20 minutes as an ongoing homework assignment. Usually she picks out the book and both of us read – she reads the words she knows and tries to sound out the smaller words and I read the harder ones. The other night I pulled out a book I had found in my son’s room. I didn’t remember much about the book, just that I thought Nikki would like it. The book is called “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein.

As I opened the book to the first page, I found an inscription dated 2005 written by my mom. She wrote:

Dear Matthew,

This book is Mom-Mom’s gift to you. When you read it, she will be listening to the story up in Heaven.

Love, Grandmom and Grandpop

In March 2005, my grandmother, who we all called Mom-Mom, suffered a horrible and debilitating stroke. Amazingly she survived, but was confined to a “life” in bed, unable to do anything for herself. Most days she listened to the TV since she had been nearly blind when she suffered the stroke and sometimes she was taken into a group room to be able to sit in the company of others. Every night my mom would visit her, bringing her mother a dinner she had carefully prepared, and would feed it to my grandmother. My grandmother was such a proud and dignified woman and to see her this way broke my heart. Mom-Mom passed away on December 15, 2005, and her funeral was held 5 days before Christmas. Mom-Mom often gave my son books for birthdays and Christmases since he loved to read or be read to, a love my mom nurtured. On Christmas day 2005, one of Matt’s gifts was this book that my mom had bought for my grandmother to give to Matt.

When I first grabbed the book, Nikki protested because she wanted to pick the book. But I assured her that she’d like this book and I believe she wanted to read it once I read her the inscription from my mom. As I have written before, Nikki was only two and a half when my mom died, and she holds anything that is from my mom close to her heart. Nikki giggled and laughed as we read about the adventures of “It”, an almost complete circle that was looking for its missing piece. I’m sure one day we will read it again and I will always keep this book with its inscription, carefully written in my mom’s neat print.

While we were reading the book, I wondered if my grandmother and my mom were listening as we read the book. Later, I thought how fitting the title of the book was, “This Missing Piece”. Both my mom and grandmother are missing pieces from our lives. Thank you Mom for thinking of putting the inscription in this book. I miss both you and Mom-Mom.


  1. Beautiful! My Nan passed away in 2000. I was recently given a Christmas Card by my Aunt. She’d found it in the attic while having a clear out, my Nan had written it but never given it to me. It took a few days to pluck up the courage to open the envelope, I kept turning the envelope over and over in my hands.
    Like the book with its inscription; my card will always be a source of comfort.
    Thank you for making me smile 🙂

  2. You have made me want to go and get this book! I love Shel Silverstein’s writing, and “missing piece” sounds perfect for our family. We adopted our daughter 4 1/2 years ago as a 6 year old. She still (and I’m sure always will) grieve the missing pieces in her life.


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