Life is full of joy and sorrow. We never know what comes tomorrow. We make plans with baited breath While pushing back the hands of death. We try to play the hero's part With an arrow in our heart. We gather flowers as we go. The years fly by and bring us woe. The losses come one by one, And we feel our life is done. We are told to carry on And embrace the coming dawn. We feel such emptiness within. We weep for what life might have been. Our hopes and dreams have flown away, And still we're staying one more day. Our courage keeps us living here After losing all that's dear. -Yu/stan/kema-
– indulgy.com Found on Pinterest.
There are times in life when everything seems to be going smoothly for me. The sky is blue, relationships are great, money is in my billfold, the bills are paid, and I feel great. I’m sure you have had days like this. Then out of the blue, something shatters my sense that everything is right with the world.
I get pneumonia and I end up in the hospital. While I am there, the Dr. says I also have this rare disease that I’ve had since I was born but it has been in remission for at least 60 years. You’d think after sixty years, it would have died out or worn itself out. But now, it chooses this inopportune time to make itself known, just when I was about to enjoy retirement and get social again. I had plans of travelling all over the United States and seeing all the wonderful beauty that was just waiting there for me. I had worked hard for thirty plus years and this was going to be my time to have fun. I was going to do all the things I had put off because of work constraints.
Now, I have to change my life style and my plans are scaled back. I have periods of OK energy and periods when my body won’t do what my brain tells it to do. I was one of those people who had to finish what I was doing no matter what. I just pushed myself when I felt tired and got the task done. Now when I get tired, I try to do the same thing, but I fall asleep and when I wake up at the keyboard, I’ve typed a lot of gibberish. If I don’t divide my reservoir of energy, I can end up at Wal-Mart pushing my cart, falling asleep, and end up barely hitting people. I appreciate them yelling when my cart gets too close. The Dr. tells me to stay away from sick people so I don’t catch what they have. In the winter time, everyone seems to be sick so my socializing has also been scaled back. I spend eight hours a month getting antibodies pumped back into my body. I end up scheduling my life around this disease. Then I wait months to be tested to see if its working. Patience is not an attribute of mine. I tend to get a little cranky a week before the IV is placed again into my arm. This schedule repeats itself until my body decides it has had enough.
The point of this story is you only have this moment in time. Allow yourself to do your living now and let laughter become a part of your life. Make your friendships now and love like you’ve never loved before. Enjoy every golden moment before you. Those moments are more precious than you can possibly realize. Things happen when we least expect them to.
While I was growing up, I lived a very sheltered life. I had lived in four different agencies that cared for children by the time I was eighteen. My social skills were limited and I had never traveled anywhere until I entered college.
In college, I was fortunate in finding work while I attended school. I learned how to spend money on root beer floats and hamburgers. I didn’t have a car and most students who lived in the dorms stayed on campus for lack of transportation. We became a close-knit community out in the middle of no where, far from the rest of civilization.
As a freshman, our stately institution created an initiation for the first year students. It was called “Fish Week.” I had to wear a dorky looking cardboard hat on my head that stayed in place with an elastic string that rested under the chin. Trust me, it was dorky. I also was given a green construction paper fish to wear around my neck. My main task was to see to the needs of the upperclassmen. I had to carry their books and run errands for them. They also required me at times to drop to my knees and sing songs, quote scripture, and recite praises for their mighty achievements. After a week of embarrassment, I felt the seeds of rebellion grow inside my normally tranquil heart. I brought together a group of freshmen students who wanted to restore their tattered sense of dignity.
While some of the upperclassmen were in classes, my trusty comrades and I hid their mattresses in hard to find places. We stashed dissected worms from our biology lab classes in their text books. We covered their dorm rooms with toilet paper. After a time, they discovered who was making their lives difficult.
One night, I foolishly decided to take a shower. The dorm shower was empty when I went in. I took off my clothes and hung them on a hook, right outside the shower curtain. I had a great shower. When I finished, I reached out to grab my clothes to put them on. My hand hit empty air. I shoved back the curtain and sure enough, the clothes were gone. I could feel the panic grow inside my body when I heard the first sound of a snicker. I felt rooted to the shower floor. Then I heard a mighty roar of laughter.
I knew it was a long walk back to my dorm room, and I was a very private person about my body. My eyes zeroed on to the shower curtain. I removed it from its hooks and wrapped it around my body like a Greek goddess. Holding my head high, I threw a corner of my toga over my shoulder, and walked down the long hallway to my room. The hall filled with upper-class women. There was not a sound as I made my way down the hall to my room. As I opened my door, there was a roar of applause. The rest of the year had its own reward. The upper-class women invited me into their meetings, and invited me to visit their dorm rooms as well. I made a lot of friends my freshman year by being persistent and by hanging in there. Most of all, I retained my sense of dignity.