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What Do You Treasure Most? - Chronically Whole
What Do You Treasure Most?

What Do You Treasure Most?

February 20, 2017 | Posted in: chronic illness; support, Love

“What do you treasure most?” This was the question gingerly tossed out among friends. A smirk crossed my face as I listened to the first answer. Ah, young love. Surely, only it could drive a grown man to invest hours in hand painting a heart-covered teapot for his love? Then a full on smile broke out, such beauty. Yes, I admit I also laughed aloud and shook my head in agreement as the responses rolled in. These items my friends described were treasures indeed.

Then it was my turn. What did I treasure most? My mind immediately went to the newspaper clipping tucked inside my son, Hayden’s, baby book. A Mother’s Day gift from the year he was in third grade. It had brought me to my knees. I’d worked at least two jobs in that season of single motherhood and yet, still never had enough at the checkout for the little things Hayden wanted. I was worn out in every sense of the word. On that afternoon, before my shift at the local Olive Garden restaurant he’d handed me the newspaper where his words of admiration about his mom appeared. “If I could have any mom in the world, I would choose mine,” he’d written. Yes, I treasured this.

Next, I thought about my books. They are a part of me. Each book I’ve read has shaped me in some way. If I give you one of my books, I’ve given you a tiny fiber of my being. Words are a treasure to me.

In the still hours of that night, I revised my answer. Can I tell you what I treasure most?

Putting Puzzle Pieces Together

Today, I sat at the nail salon staring off in the distance thinking about the day ahead of me. The woman next to me was telling a story. It drew me in. For years, she sought out a long lost loved one whose life she’d been cut from like unwanted fruit ends for the platter just before the party. Finally, she’d located the one she loved so much and reached out. Would they have her back? Then she said she had been sitting in this very nail salon, this very spot when she received their response, when life changed forever. It was a yes.

Something inside me made me lean over and quietly whisper, “I was sitting in this very nail salon, in this very place not long ago when the call came, when my friend said she’d lost her love forever.” Now we were two puzzle pieces put together, one life lost and another found in the same space. Her sixty-four and I thirty-seven, yet with no space between us. Together we sat and spoke in hushed voices about our lives’ greatest losses and triumphs, eerily similar. Something holy was happening here in the nail salon?

Can I tell you what I treasure? Holy Moments.

Not long ago, I went from the nail salon to a home where loss echoed from the walls. I stood and watched as one puzzle piece exited the home for the last time. I asked quietly, “Did you know this day was coming?” Distantly, a tender voice answered, “Yes, but I thought we had more time.”

Can I tell you what I treasure? Bearing Weighty Moments With The Ones Most Dear

That night as I wadded my body up tightly and wept, I replayed those words, “I thought we had more time.” Oh, loves, don’t we all?

There are several extraordinary people in my world who are nearing the end of their days. They are keenly aware of this.

They know the time they have left to fit together like a puzzle piece with strangers at the nail salon or the one they fall asleep next to at night is quickly fading. They treasure it.

So do I. I treasure every coherent moment. I treasure the moments I don’t miss because of illness. These are the things I treasure most. The moments I am alive enough not to miss.

The end of our days is coming for all of us. What do you treasure most? Click To Tweet



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  1. Andrea Stunz
    February 20, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    Two puzzle pieces with no space between. Beautiful! I treasure you, my friend.

    • Stacey Philpot
      February 26, 2017

      Leave a Reply

      Thank you, lovely friend. The feeling is mutual.

  2. Valerie
    February 24, 2017

    Leave a Reply

    This is simply lovely.

    • Stacey Philpot
      February 26, 2017

      Leave a Reply

      Thank you so much, Valerie.

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