Finding the good in the everyday, makes everyday a pretty good day.
Looking a things differently…
I read a story about a lady who had cancer. She was so sick and her body hurt most days. She knew that she was most likely going to die and maybe soon because of it. She still went to work almost everyday, and had an amazing strong, loving and supportive family. Her husband was protective, loving, and doting on her every need. Her children and friends were so gentle, kind and helpful. She had an amazing Church family that prayed over her and her family. They fed her and family and even came to clean her home at times. She never felt lonely in her disease, depression never gasped her soul. Death never scared her. She was happy.
One day the lady, we’ll call her Linda, was at yet another doctors appointment. She sat there in the lobby waiting patiently for the nurse to call her name. As she flipped through a magazine she noice a small frail looking women across from her. She looked awful, honestly. She had dark circles under eyes, her hair was thinning and a mess. Her clothes looked rumpled on her body, as if they were eating her alive. Linda noticed her small hands, they were shaking ever so slightly. She looked as though she had caught a chill that she couldn’t recover from. What made Linda notice this lady at all was the large, harsh man sitting next her. He looked very annoyed with his arms crossed and his foot tapping rapidly. Linda thought for sure the poor sad looking lady had the big C just like her but it was the aggressive man next to this dainty women that told Linda different.
The large companion next to this frail hopeless looking women, was doing a horrible job at whispering. He began telling the women, who seemed to be his wife in his breathy voice “I’m done with the teary eyes all the time.” “Your doctor better get you on some happy pills or raise the dose of your depression meds.” “You’re not normal and you better tell the doc that!” “I can’t live with a wife like this.” “You know, you drag everybody down when you act this way and you better tell your doc that.” “You know, I am not letting you get away with this and that’s why I am here with you!” “No one feels sorry for you anymore.” “It’s time for you to take some accountability…or I’m done!” The sad women’s eyes started to tear up, she took her sunglasses to cover her face. It was clear that this poor women did not have cancer. She had severe depression and was fighting it alone.
Linda sat in her chair watching this horrible seen unfold and thinking to herself, how can I feel so blessed right now? I am going to die but I love my life and I am so happy. I feel amazing compared to this poor soul across from me and I am literally dying! I wouldn’t want to trade place with her for one second and I am dying! I am joyful, I have love and support. This poor women does not and it shows! How blessed am I!
Linda couldn’t help but keep listening and watching from the corner of her eye. The boisterous husband never stopped his punishment. He never gave a consoling word or touch to his obviously broken wife. Even other people started to take notice. Linda decided that it would be impossible to help this hopeless lady with her annoyed husband around. One thing good about going to the hospital all the time was Linda had formed great friendships with nearly all the staff. She wrote down her name and number on a torn piece of paper and said please call me. You are important and loved. She handed the paper to the nurse, who had also notice the couple and asked if she would privately give the depressed women her note. The nurse gave Linda a hug and said, of course. You will really make her day.
Finally both their names were called and they went on their way in different directions. All Linda could do was pray that the lady would call. She didn’t know what she would do when and if that day came but she would be there if it did.
In Linda’s appointment, it was more of the same old news as usually. The cancer was still there… keep doing what you’re doing and be positive. Linda was used to this by now and as Linda was about to end the appointment her husband and 2 of children walked in. They were there for her as normal and Linda felt blessed to have them. The bad news wasn’t so bad. She was covered in love and support. Again she felt blessed. But she turned the conversation to the women in the lobby and her concern for her. The doctor said she was checking to make sure there wasn’t any abuse but that Linda really needed to focus on herself and rest. Linda walked out with her support group, in their arms, full of smiles and filled with love. But she looked for the women. She didn’t see her.
It was nearly two months later and Linda was now in hospice and spent most her time reading and recording videos for her children and someday grandchildren. Linda received a text message from a lady named Megan. The text said,
I was given you’re number a few months back, my named is Megan. I didn’t have the courage to call, so I am texting. I hope that’s okay. I wanted to say thank you for your words. I do not feel important. I don’t remember ever feeling important or loved but I did feel a little the day I got your note. I had a very difficult childhood and I never met my father. Maybe that’s why I married the man I did. My mom did the best she could for me and my brother but I always felt like a burden to her and sometimes I still do. She loves me, I think but she doesn’t like me. I don’t think any people do. Who would if your own mother doesn’t like you? Anyway, I wanted to say thank you. I have started to go to church. I have connected with an Aunt and Uncle and they have been great encouragers to me. My faith and love is getting stronger. But I have hard days still. But I am better than I was and I have you to thank for that. I don’t know if I’ll stay married or not. I am working on me right now. I’d love to meet you and say thank you in person. But to be honest I am truly scared to leave my house most days. Going to church once a week is a big step. I am very proud of myself for that. I go to see my doctor and my counselor…so I leave my house now 3 times a week. That’s huge! Thank you Linda.
The two women began a friendship and stayed close for the next month until Linda passed away. Megan was depressed and lonely, everyday was fight to get up and move forward. Linda was dying, she had cancer and was at total peace in her life. Linda was in an even more grim state and was the light in the dark for this person who was fighting for their life in a much different way.
It went on to say that how we choose to view things, the people we keep around us and how they choose to view things, make an amazing impact on our perspective on life. This is really huge when you think Linda was dying from cancer and was living a happier, more joyful life than Magen who is riddle with depression, guilt and couldn’t even go outside. Linda had an amazing support system, she had a strong faith and because of all this, her entire world looks different.
A clean Slate
Linda and Megan got to know each other well in a short period of time and their childhood was very similar, sadly. Both didn’t know their Fathers and both had over worked, over stressed single mothers. They both ended up taking on parenting rolls for their younger sibling early in life. But Linda went on to get good grades, went to college and became a paralegal. She helped her younger sibling through school as well and her brother became a police office and that’s how she met her husband of nearly 45 years. He was a sergeant for 22 yrs before retiring to tinkering in the garage. They had 5 beautiful kids! All went to college and one even plays pro baseball! Sure they had their ups and downs and kids drove them crazy at times but life was good.
Megan dropped out of school at 15 years old and at 20 years old got her GED. She got a small drug habit for a bit but beat it. She always manage to find work as a waitress and lived in a basement apartment. She finally at the age of 22 years old she got her certificate to be a hairstylist. She had a good job and was making some good friends. She met a good looking strong Italian man who was going to be the answer to all her troubles. They were married after only dating for 2 months and the fighting started. She was riddle with miscarriages. After 2 years of marriage, money troubles, multiple moves from one apartment to the next and 5 different jobs, she had lost the will to live. She hadn’t talked to her brother in years and wasn’t even sure where he was anymore. Her mom was in and out of her life. She was sure it was because she was such a downer. Her husband had been in an accident at work and won a huge settlement that had helped with financial pains but Megan soon had trouble even getting out of bed at all. She was sure with her husbands new money, he also had a new girlfriend. But She couldn’t leave her cheating husband or chaotic house if she couldn’t even leave her bed. She felt stuck.
How does this happen? How can two people with slates that have the same marks, cuts, scars and dents end up so different?
Our minds, our personalities, the people in our circle? This really made me think. It makes me want to try super hard to always see the good, no matter how crappy the situation seems. Our minds are powerful! If all I can say is thank you God that I am alive or just thank God for my kids laughter, then that’s good enough. Seeing the gold in every moment is critical. My mindset needs to be one of positivity. But even more than that, it needs to be one of gratitude. I need to wake up and be excited to what God’s got in store for me. I need to change the momentum to everyday is The Day, to everyday is My Day to It’s great right now and stop the… maybe next time or… maybe later stuff.
No, life is good right now!
Having good people in your circle! I can’t say I have always had this. Being a realist is in my families blood and it can get pretty negative at times. Even my friends, all of us are guilty of getting so busy and consumed in our own little worlds! We don’t give a thought about each other until something bad has happen to one of us. So I need to connect everyday. And not only do I “need” I “get” to! It’s a blessing too. I get to connect everyday. I care so I need to connect as much as I can. I need to be a better listener. I am going to work on this. I want to be an active listener. I get to be there for these awesome people, who have experienced this life with me and I get to be a positive supportive person to them.
I get to.
I am going to work on creating a positive supportive network but I know it starts with me. I will put out into the world what I want to get back. I need to be the light, the joy I want to see.
I am naturally a sensitive, emotional, quick-sharpe-witted person. I know what my self-care practices need to be for someone like myself. I know that I won’t be for everyone and that’s okay. I need to like me and I do. Knowing yourself is step one. Once you really know yourself and you’re comfortable with who you are then it doesn’t matter what any haters say. You can still love them with not an ounce of hate back.
So my slate has be written on. It’s messy, super dented up and hardly in one piece. Past decisions of mine and of others have changed me but also made me. But I can be more then beat up and worn out parts. I intent to be.
EVERY BREATH COUNTS.