Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Four-score Men and Four-score more,
Could not make Humpty Dumpty what he was before.
      — Samuel Arnold, Juvenile Amusements, 1797

I am a few days early for a new year’s eve message, but today’s photo prompts me to get on with it. As I was walking along a sidewalk downtown, I came upon an egg that had fallen out of a nest built on a street light above. The sun had dried out the splattered yolk and a few ants scurried about the broken shell, feasting on misfortune. It struck me as a fitting reflection and symbol of the year that now comes to a close.

Despite the many advances in GLBT rights, I will forever equate 2013 to loss, destruction, pain and death. It is the year that shattered my life of happiness with James, watching him so cruelly and horrifyingly being eaten alive by cancer. Like a new and long-hoped-for egg, we embarked on the adventure of marriage on July 29 – after 21 years together – only to have that monumental accomplishment tossed out and splattered across the sidewalk a month-and-a-half later. Now, I sit alone in a nest that echoes with emptiness while hell taunts me with thoughts of what was and what never will be.

Goodbye, 2013 – and good riddance! I pray that 2014 will be a year that holds some hope of starting to heal from the experience this egg and I have shared. Perhaps my hopes are tainted by knowing all-too-well how Humpty Dumpty turned out.

"Eggsistential" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/350 sec., 85mm

“Eggsistential” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/2.0 at 1/350 sec., 85mm
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  1. Earl, these are hard, hard words to read, and I’m sure they were 100 times harder to write. I wish I knew some wise and encouraging ‘preacher’ words, but I’ll have to stick with what I know from my own humanity: no matter how strong your faith, you’ll still go through all the stages of grief; sooner or later, you’ll doubt everything and rage at everything and think thoughts that would horrify the devil himself… and you’ll be forgiven for all of it, and you’ll see James again. One moment comes after another, which comes after another, and so on into eternity. It gets easier.


    1. It actually felt good to write these words, Carl; in fact, they poured out effortlessly and as fast as my fingers could transfer them from my brain to the keyboard. I sincerely appreciate your comment and “preacher words”, though logic and encouragement seem ill-fitted at this point in what seems a Sisyphus-ian journey back to life. Have a blessed day.


  2. Earl, I am so sorry for your pain but so thankful for your gift of words to help you through your grief. Love you.


  3. So sorry for your loss. Even though I find it sad to read about your loss I loved the way you compared your life with the broken egg. We can never ever be sure of anything. I can relay to your story as I lost my bunny earlier this year. It was sudden and I did all in my power to save him. Yet I lost against whatever it was he suffered from. I do hope your 2014 will bring you joy and happiness. All the best xxx


    1. Thank you for your comment and kind words, Lotta. I am glad you enjoyed the metaphor; life is indeed fragile and often takes a never-anticipated turn. It’s important to understand the value of what you have while you have it, rather than after it’s gone. Sorry about your bunny. God bless.


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