It’s been mighty quiet around here since the little princess has returned to her own kingdom.

M I G H T Y  Q U I E T.

I’ll be honest, some of that quiet is welcomed with open ears. But some carries with it a tinge of lonesome, an air of wistfulness for the name “Mimmie” to be uttered with a question mark every two minutes.

The day after I returned from Florida, I set about restoring my home to its former empty-nest, two-adults-live-here, glory. I put the car seat away, and returned the booster seat to the closet. I took the bath toys out of the tub after they were good and dry, sorted through the blocks, Tinker Toys, and Fisher Price Little People and put them in the correct containers, and rebuilt the dollhouse after Hurricane Lilli had swept through, rendering each room’s use indistinguishable. Finally, thinking I’d finished with the toys, I went to strip the sheets and found a book about ladybugs at the foot of the bed, and a bangle bracelet under the pillow.

Later, after the sheets were back on the bed, and the rugs had been vacuumed, I went from room to room, all through the house, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. It all looked good, so I started thinking about dinner. Pulling a bowl out from the cabinets, something caught my eye outside. There were all her pool toys (some from the bath) sitting right there in plain view. And the pool fence. That needed to come back down, too. And her bubbles and sidewalk chalk, not to mention the works of art she’d left all over the back patio and sidewalk. After dinner was put together and in the fridge, I went outside to get that done.

Just before bed that night I was thinking about her. It seemed that I’d finally uncovered every little thing she’d left behind, and while it always feels good to have our home back to our own brand of normal, it also always feels a little empty without her and the evidence of her everywhere I look. Walking into my closet, with its mirrored doors, I stopped with my heart in a lurch as I saw her hand print there in perfect relief. Physical representation of her touch on my soul.

It’s an interesting question to ask yourself, you know.

What do I leave behind of myself for others to find?

After an encounter with me, will they roll their eyes when they find gossip stuck behind the sofa cushions, and have to break out the air freshener to try to clear it of negativity? Or will they smile when they see some encouragement sticking out from under the sofa, wishing all the while they could bottle up the sweet fragrance of love that still permeates the room?

Will the words you leave be cherished as precious fingerprints on their heart, or painful scars?

I didn’t clean that print off the mirror, but it will, very likely, eventually be cleaned. I’m thankful for the prints that will never fade, though…the precious reminders of the heart that are left behind.


“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

“For we are the aroma of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV