Five Year Finale: Marble Toss

“I just let go. And I feel exposed but it’s so beautiful ’cause this is who I am.” ~ Plumb “Lord I’m Ready Now”

I’ve written a few posts about the jar of marbles that Tony gave me as part of our engagement. We were to throw a marble away on every anniversary to symbolize a year of our lives together gone by that we could not get back. It was our reminder to make the most of our time together.

We tossed the first one the day we got engaged in the lake near the 18th hole at Chateau Elan where he proposed. For our 1 year wedding anniversary, we threw one in the pond near the first home we lived in as a married couple. We were one month shy of us getting to throw away marble number 3 when he passed away. For 4 anniversaries after, I made a point to toss a marble in places significant to us: the lake at Piedmont Park, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and a canal in Sevilla, Spain.

At the 5 year mark of his passing, I felt that it was finally time to let the rest of them go.

To let them go.

Because I’ve learned over the past 5 years that time just isn’t always measured in years. Sometimes it’s measured in the sweetest moments. Sometimes in days. Sometimes it just can’t be measured at all.

As I held those treasured marbles in my hands for the final time, I recognized them as shattered dreams that would never be realized with the man who gave them to me.

Even still, I chose to celebrate.
I celebrated that I had lived each day, 365 times 5, since life as I knew it shattered to pieces.
I celebrated that I did not just survive, but I lived. I really lived.
I celebrated that I had savored so many moments in 5 years that could have certainly accounted for each one of those marbles.
I celebrated that these marbles had taught me to not wish my life away, to see my time as an invaluable yet limited resource, and to see each day as a gift.

And I celebrated heaven, a place that knows no end to days or years or life eternal.


I threw the remaining 71 marbles in the lake on the backside of Stone Mountain, never to be taken back again.

To be completely honest, the very next day, I felt as if I was entering into a freefall. I’ve never been one to enjoy this sensation in a literal sense, much less when describing my life.

(Insert nervous stomach.)

Still, I could not go back. Tossing those marbles represents letting go of everything I’ve clung to for my identity these last 5 years. It means letting go of expectations for what I “thought” life would look like at this point in my life. It means I am free to find my identity fully and completely in my Savior Jesus. Though that’s the way I want to live, it’s still scary to face the unseen and unknown venture ahead.

It’s requiring me to fall completely into the arms of my Savior, to trust Him for my future, to trust Him in my present, to fully surrender to Who He says I am and how He identifies me.

It’ll just take a little while to get used to.

Lord, I’m ready now. I’m like a kid jumping off the diving board for the very first time. Please catch me ever so gently and never let me go.

Dearly loved, with my arms wide open,

One thought on “Five Year Finale: Marble Toss

  1. DCF

    Melissa, I continue to be inspired by you and at what God has made you through this period. He will catch you, and give you new memories and rituals to savor.

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