Monday, August 18, 2008

Squalor of the Mind

I've posted about being "emo" before. Wallowing in the squalor of my mind, tired, crabby, churlish. The mood elevator stuck between the impatient/frustrated and the irritated/bothered floors.

I try to add more upbeat stuff in addition to the emo junk. I'm not Brain Tail though. I've not been gifted with the natural ability to bring people hope during times of great strain; pointing out that through all things, God is in charge. That's not my muse. My muse gleefully places skinny gas pump humping citizens in my path so that I must write about them or explode.

So speaking about emo, I'm thinking about one friend in particular who has gone through some tough times in the last few years for sure. But all in all, life is good; has a home, bills are well paid, money in the bank, two cars in the garage, is healthy, and has all the mental faculties one needs. Got a job that is sucking the life force out, but still - got a job.

It put me in mind of my 16 year old daughter. One night about 8 months back, while I was moaning about all the things I didn't have and whining about the cards that were dealt me, she started ticking off the losses she had endured in her short life and how she chose to deal with them.

"I could be miserable. It would be easy. My dad lives 800 miles away, but you know what? I have a dad. We moved away from the only home I ever knew my whole life and I lost all my friends, but you know what? I made new ones and I love them. My brothers don't live near me any more, but I know they love me. Stop looking at what you don't have and start looking at what you do have and just be thankful for that."

This is the girl who told me how beautiful my wrinkles were, which I have to repeat because it makes me happy.

I was admiring my daughter’s hands the other day. Smooth, slender, and lovely. I compared her hands to mine and mine came up wanting. Wanting botox. But my youngest child exclaimed, “Oh, I LOVE your hands!”

“You are just being nice, they are hideous.”

“Oh NO. Look at them, they’re beautiful!”

“Oh, really.” I was unimpressed.

“I look at these hands and I see life! I can see all the foreheads you’ve checked for fevers, all the neck rubs, the aspirins you gave us, the peanut butter sandwiches you’ve made. Do you know you are able to make a peanut butter sandwich with one swipe of the knife?” she kept stroking and admiring my hands as I stared at her with an open mouth.

“How do you make peanut butter spread across the bread like that? That amazes me! I tried to do that once and I just ripped the bread. These hands have washed thousands of dishes, folded tons of clothes, swept floors, driven me places. These hands have loved and hugged and lived! Look at my hands! They haven’t lived! They’ve done nothing! I love your hands! I think they are beautiful! And your face,” she started to smooth my cheeks. “Look at those lines! Look at those smile lines by your eyes! I love those, you’ve laughed so much, you’ve smiled so much, they make you so beautiful!”

We are so accustomed to focus on what we don't have, on the negative, that we forget the blessings we have been given. May we remember to thank God for what we have and what we have lost.

1 Comment:

lace1070 said...

you have an absolutely precious daughter ~ you should frame her words with a photo of your hand next to hers.

blogger templates | Make Money Online