Missing from the crucifix was the figure of Christ. There was just a rough, metal cross with holes where the figure originally would have been attached. To me the crucifix is an important part of the rosary. It is the starting point of the rosary and the place where it ends - the beginning and the end. It is the foundation of our Catholic religion - the symbol of Christ dying on the cross for each of us. I felt a little deflated in its absence; it even felt a bit sacrilegious.
And then I noticed that the red-rosy decade was missing four beads. That wouldn't do. With all the imperfections, the rosary seemed spoiled. So I thanked the seller and had him put it back because I couldn't buy it if it wasn't perfect or complete. How could I use it or appreciate it if it wasn't all there? I had such a hard time letting it go since I liked it so much, so right then I made up my mind to go home and try to find out if I could fix it, then I'd go back to get it. I would do what I can to make it complete again.
Back home, I began searching the internet for similar rosaries, or bead-making distributors where hopefully, I could find matching beads. No luck. I searched for months, on and off, but never found anything that was close. I resigned myself to the fact that I had to get that rosary out of my mind and forget about it.
A few months after that, on one of our antique shop explorations, we visited that shop again AND IT WAS STILL THERE! I was happy to see it like a long lost friend. I asked to hold it again and finger the smooth, small beads but this time I had a flash of enlightenment. As I held the rosary I had a message so clear in my mind: that it IS imperfect, and that is okay, because so am I. I was able to see that rosary in a new way, and made it my own.
I am, now, okay that Jesus is no longer hanging on the cross because he is risen. I see that broken, vacant cross is a sign of my faith. And the beads that are missing are okay as well. I like to think of it is as God is giving me a free-pass. When I reach that decade instead of doing ten 'Hail Marys', I only need to do six because he knows of my trials and is giving me a break. It makes me smile when I am working through that decade - a secret between me and God.
So that is how I view it. I now accept that the rosary - my rosary - as being imperfect and am learning to accept and embrace my imperfections as well. There is probably a great story to go along with the broken rosary and how it came to be that way, I wonder what it is? Anyhow, now my rosary serves to remind me to try and look at things from a different perspective and not to judge someone or something by whether or not it is perfect but accept the uniqueness.
I'm working on it.