Saturday, July 22, 2017

Portals of Time & Fruits of our Labors

My mother dropped me off on the corner. She turned left at the light. I walked right, down a concrete path, toward the doors.

The doors of which I speak were two metal doors to the side entrance to my high school. I hated those doors. I hated the school. I hated the path. I hated it all with the passion of an unhappy, bullied girl-child who knows the unrelenting mean-girls are waiting just inside those doors.

There, right where that green spot is, I stepped in melted water. I was wearing original moccasins. The kind without a hard sole. The leather was immediately soaked. I'd have frozen feet all day. I hated that puddle, too.

This miserable day would obviously last FOREVER! My teenaged eyes rolled hard at the thought of this grey, everlasting day stretching into eternity before me. I wanted to sit down and cry, no, howl at the long torture that yawned in front of me.

I was convinced of the truth of this belief.

At that moment, a memory was created and immediately clicked from the short-term to the long-term storage bin in the back of my mind.

I have never forgotten that moment, that puddle or those doors. A walk that lives forever but in a very different way than I thought. I don't remember another thing about that day but it must not have been too bad. I still have both feet. No frostbitten nubs.

What I created, however, was a moment that has rescued me during far worse experiences life has tossed my way. When real tears were choking me and it seemed as if all that was holy in my life hung in the balance, I see them. That puddle and those hated doors.

Cancer? Those doors to the rescue.
Disabled child? That puddle reminds me.
Divorce? Those mean girls didn't stop me.

That morning lives to remind me...I've learned that crappy stuff does NOT last forever. There is no misery that will not end. I will endure. I can do this. Whatever it is, until the day my Earth-term is up, I CAN do this.

Truth? I became a better person because of hardship. It served me well. I became stronger. I am resistant to the fairy tales of assured doom we like to tell ourselves.

And somehow my Old Soul knew that moment was valuable and locked it away until I'd need it.

Over the years, I learned to rise to the occasions to which I least wished to rise.
It turns out, courage and patience pays you in strength and a merry heart. Big dividends. Rewards unexpected.

I stopped once to look up the mean girls on Facebook. They have aged poorly, with all the ugliness they visited upon me, now resting insecurely on their wrinkled brows and thinning hair. Keep this in mind...Bitchery and cruelty pays in rotten fruit. I had no idea of about this gem of wisdom when I was younger. I share now because you should know that the best wrinkle cream will not erase such emblems. It's a message from my older teen self to younger women.

May such knowledge comfort many and alarm the rest.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This Arm

This picture looks a little creepy, doesn't it?
That's my lap with a woman's arm resting on it. It's realistic, until you get to the elbow. 

There's a small story about this arm and it's a lovely story to know. It's a story about Pragmatic Acceptance, which is a very good thing but not always easy to obtain. It's a trait of very strong people.

This imposter arm was introduced to me in September. It belongs to an older woman. She's a pretty woman who still retains the charming smile of a younger woman. She was in an automobile accident a few years ago and it cost her an arm. 

Many people would moan and complain. Try to change the reality or refuse to accept it. Or maybe become a perpetual victim. 

But this woman handled it as simply as making a substitution in a recipe. She carried on just as if everything would work out. It might not be as moist and fluffy but, by God, it's still a Fine Cake.

There was a sense of determination. As if she had firmly explained to herself that, "Yes, there would still be cake and it still was up her to mix the batter."

As she told the story of losing her arm, she whipped off the prosthetic and handed it around so the other women could see how real it looked. 

It does look amazingly real. She had ornamented it with rings and jewelry. Of course, it wasn't perfect and it can't replace the original arm. It didn't move and the fingers don't flex. And it was cold. 

The important thing, though, was her attitude. Even missing a favorite appendage that had been taken away abruptly and without warning, she was accepting and grateful for what she DID have.

She was still smiling. I found her amazing and wanted to tell you about it.