You Can Only Love What You’ve Got While You Got It #KateDiCamillo #Inspiration

Photo by Karim Manjra on Unsplash

“There ain’t no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.”

– Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie

My oldest daughter and I have been reading “Because of Winn-Dixie,” the classic fictional novel written by Kate DiCamillo, also adapted into a film starring AnnaSophia Robb and Jeff Daniels.

She is a bookworm (like her dad) and has already read the book at least once on her own. When we were scrolling through books to read on the Kindle, she asked if I could read this one to her. I have seen the movie a few times before, but I had never read this classic children’s book myself.

As I was reading this quote, I was struck with a pang of grief. A pang of loss; the loss of a dream that I had wanted, and had died. There was no way to resurrect it. There was no recovery and it was over. It was something that I don’t want to revive, but as I read those words, the grief was back, right there at my door step.

I had to take a few moments to stop and to recover before I could continue. My daughter knew. She saw my tears. She heard my words choking through the last few sentences before the chapter ended.

We talked some about grief. She isn’t yet ten years old, but she knows grief. She has experienced it. Grief, sadness, pain, loss are all central themes to “Because of Winn-Dixie.” You read through it, you hear the many struggles the characters grapple with, the circumstances and situations they face, and it doesn’t really hit you. It didn’t hit me, until I came across these words. The words were like a force. Something that took the pain of the lives in this story that you are reading past, reading to get on with the next part of the story, and it crystallizes their grief into your own consciousness and makes you face your own grief.

A lot of people are familiar with grief, the five stages, and more recently, the six stages of grief, but at some point grief fades. Grief never really disappears but its weight and pull on you seems to slacken and release you, but when you pull back on that rope in the right way, all of its heaviness comes right back onto your chest in a fresh way.

There is an answer for grief. It is found right here in this quote.

Let go.

Release it.

Most things are outside of your control. Every relationship is out of your control because two people are involved. Going through the process of grieving is so important, and the final step is acceptance. This is the new reality.

Yesterday is gone. All we have is today.

I am not all the way through with “Because of Winn-Dixie” yet, but I am thinking that it is going to be a favorite book when I do finish it. When I do, I plan to share some more thoughts about other aspects of the book here on my blog. So keep an eye out 😉

Get a copy of “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo from Amazon here.

“Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo


  1. There are people who don’t give up.

    Of course, one is unable to revive the dead. One is unable to do things beyond the realm of possibility. Though, I believe that through love, all things are possible. I believe that through love, nothing is able to stand in the way of the person whose heart is filled with that emotion.

    The sheer impossibility of doing something beyond love, would be doing something beyond life. Were a person to lose their loved one, be in such grief to take up a scientific vocation in the attempt revive that lost person, they’d be lost in their bereavement. They’d not be lost in love. They’d not be lost in any passion. They’d be lost in their misery.

    I don’t give up. Those who are important to me, I’d protect with every beat of my heart. If I saw my friend doing something stupid, such as taking up a smoking habit… despite it being their choice, I’d interfere. Otherwise, what place do I have for the world, if I cannot even take care of a single friend? It’s like that wisdom. “Take care of your immediate surroundings, before you tackle the entire planet.”

    How can a person take care of an entire dog pound, when they had a pet dog, and such died of neglect under their “care”?

    People will say, “Focus on what matters.” But, what does matter, besides those who are immediately around us, as those who trust us indefinitely to hold their hand? Even of those who do not want us, anymore, we can still care.

    I believe a human’s worst torment is loneliness. I believe a human’s greatest shock is to know they are trusted, especially when they are entrapped in their own darkness.

    I never give up, especially on what I’ve found, what matters, and what is important. Even if that person wishes to run away from me, I won’t stop caring. And, if they do get into trouble, I’d back them up, even if they said to not interfere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true, I’ve never had the love of a lady so I cannot vouch for that but I have love another. My character Holly. When the world decided to hate upon her and destroy my chances of publication she left me. I lost that lvoe and now I cant ever get it back or work with her again.

    Powerful post, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s