Scooping Up Things, Part 2

Scott Newport scoops up things to cope with his grief. Today, Scott shares about how the compassion of his living son, Noah, allowed him to scoop up joy.

In yesterday’s post, guest blogger Scott Newport described his practice of “scooping up things” during a recent trip to the Everglades. The practice began three years ago as a means of coping with his grief after his son Evan died. Today, Scott completes the story by sharing how the compassion of  his living son, Noah, allowed him to scoop up a bit of joy.

Scooping Up Things, Part 2
From the Most Irritating No-See-Um
to the Greatness of the Full Moon

When I got home at about 11:00 that night, Noah was still up.

“Hey Dad, did you miss me?”

“Of course son! When I get home from the presentation I have to give tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about my trip.” 

Saying good night, I gave him a hug and we both went up the stairs to bed. Even though I’m just a carpenter, on occasion I’m also a presenter for 
state-funded training seminars for parents and caregivers of
 chronically ill children. Because of Evan, I’m something of an expert 

Whispered Fears

Early the next morning, my wife Penni came down the stairs and said,
“Noah told me one his teachers from the middle school was going to 

Immediately I had a bad feeling. Maybe everything Noah has been 
through over the last few years—losing Evan—has finally taken its 
toll. Maybe he got angry at another kid. Maybe he pushed one of his 
buddies. Whispered fears raced through my head.

Penni continued, “She 
called yesterday.”

“Well? What did she say?”

“She said that there’s a needy family in the community that’s looking 
for a child’s bedroom dresser. Noah told her we have one.”

I Can’t Go in There

In less than a second I knew which dresser Noah had in mind. It was
 the one in the bedroom I hardly have the courage to walk into. I give
 myself permission to look though the French doors to the intensive care unit 
where Evan and all his medical equipment lived. I can’t go in there.
 It is still too overwhelming. Evan’s favorite blanket still lies in 
his crib—the crib where I found him dead and lifeless. 

Penni didn’t say it, but her blue eyes spilled out the love she has
 for both her boys. And as she walked away, I knew she loved me too. I 
just stood there and held back my tears. I still can’t even talk to my
 wife about Evan’s death.

Scooping Up Tears

Later, at the end of the all-day seminar, I got up to give my 
presentation. Wiping tears from my eyes, I told the story about Noah 
and how he is transitioning through his grief and his life as a young 
boy of thirteen. The whole room was in tears with me. I scooped up 
each tear-filled smile sent my way.

You see, the things I scoop up 
aren’t all minnows and moonbeams—sometimes they are profoundly 
“I could never have given away Evan’s dresser,” I told the group of 
people sitting in front of me. “It would have been another loss for me. But because Noah was the one who decided it was okay to give away
 the dresser, I was okay with it. That sorta surprised me.”

Scooping Up Pride

On my three-hour drive home, I realized how proud I am of Noah. Like a brilliant, full moon, Noah’s spirit shines brightly. I believe I will 
gaze with wonder and appreciation at his life again and again and 
again. I’ll probably never give up my scooping up habit—but I bet
 that, even years from now, Noah’s gift will stand as one of my best
 finds ever.

Thanks, Son.

Do You Need a Moment?

Do you need a moment to scoop up your own tears? Go ahead. Take your time. When you’re done, leave a comment about your thoughts. Think of them as more things for Scott to scoop up as he deals with the loss of his sweet son Evan and rejoices in life with Noah.

Part One

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3 Responses to “Scooping Up Things, Part 2”

  1. Rachel says:

    (Yes, I did need a moment to scoop up my own tears!)

    This was my first time reading one of Scott’s posts, and I was moved–by the story, by how honestly he shared of his pain, and by the sweet spirit of his son. Scott, thank you for taking time to share this beautiful post from your heart.

  2. Scott Newport says:

    Hey Rachel, thanks for taking the time to read. Yesterday the hospice/palliative social worker stopped by to talk. She was the one who really helped me to look for what she called “pockets of joy.” I showed her my recent poem. I love this stanza.

    I don’t know but I
    Think I must at least
    Open my eyes to the
    Truth of death…
    And life in a world
    Of crooked branches

    Thanks again for sending your comment

  3. Jolene says:


    Scott’s writing has that effect on many people. I need to remember to issue “tissue warnings” at the beginning of them. Scott, thanks for sharing your journey with readers. Please send more stories any time!


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