Tuesday 4 February 2020

February is Finally Here!

My apologies to anyone who tries to read this post. The funky background color has made part of it almost illegible - somewhat like my handwriting. I was trying to be more creative, but after several   attempts to correct my error before sending it into cyberspace I have to admit defeat. I've accidentally embedded something I do not know how to get rid of.  I suppose we all make mistakes and do things without thinking. It's part of the human experience, but I try not to make them in such a big and dramatic way.  I would have deleted it but felt there might be someone who would appreciate the message my friend has to share. We all live with disappointment and hardships, but she has turned her very visible limitations into amazing strengths that bless so many lives. I used to start each school year by telling my students that everyone has disabilities. Some of them are just more obvious than others. I still believe that is true and try to approach my own issues in a more positive way. It's certainly more productive than crying all the time.

After nearly a month of complaining about gray, dreary skies we have beautiful sun right now. It warms my soul and makes my heart sing. It's chipping away at the loneliness and depression that seems to settle on me each winter as I contemplate a new year and try to decide what I'm going to do to become a more productive, loving and considerate person. Perhaps part of my unexpected joy comes from reading a post on Facebook this morning. I don't spend much time there because it's been my understanding of late that most of the posts my friends share never become available to me. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere in the system that limits the amount of information any subscriber receives, but I suppose that's okay since there's nothing I can do to change it. But during the few moments I spend there, I like to rejoice in my friend's accomplishments and mourn with those who feel loss.

This particular post came from a young woman I've known since her birth. For reasons unknown to the medical community, she was born without legs and a right arm. Her left arm came only the her elbow where three random fingers were attached. Everyone in the community felt sympathy for her parents and siblings and wondered how they would ever survive. But unbeknownst to all of us, this child was meant for greatness. Not that she became world-renown for any outstanding accomplishments, but she grew to womanhood with more courage and a better attitude towards life than any of the most beautiful people I've ever met. Her personality is extraordinary. Her friends  abundant, and her desire to excel nothing short of awe-inspiring. I watched her as a teacher when she was in high school. She was an honor student who went on to graduate from college, marry and began teaching school herself.

I'm not sure what her status in life is right now, but in her own words this morning, she described how she had undergone a personal metamorphous the past few months. She had lost over thirty pounds (something totally mind-boggling to me since she only has the core of her body to work with), was exercising daily, eating better and was now able to get into her wheelchair without as much effort or pain. Linsey's radiant face let me know that she had not given up on life. Instead, it made my nose tickle and a slight pain come to my chest because I don't concentrate on the little, happy things in my life nearly enough. Like yesterday when a snow storm forced me to shovel my driveway and sidewalk twice in six hours. My granddaughter had been sick during the night and came to stay with me for the day while her parents went to work. 

After she had washed the throw-up from her hair, I fixed her scrambled eggs and toast to eat while we watched three Disney, modern-day princess, movies. We laughed, talked and snuggled up together in our favorite chair. I didn't care that I wasn't getting anything on my list of work that needed to be done completed because I knew days like this were coming to an end. She's eleven and wanting to stay with grandma won't last forever. How grateful I am to have her in my life. She's the only granddaughter I will ever have, and she's truly amazing, despite some childish flaws. I hope I can remember that the next time she tells me she doesn't want to eat something I fix or complains about helping me weed the garden. 

The simple things of life are what really matter. They make the tough times easier to bear and the good times more joyful. Knowing we had the opportunity to spend a pleasant day together means more to me than sending my new book off to Amazon like I had done at four o'clock yesterday morning because I was unable to sleep. I hope you've had a moment like that to enjoy recently. If not, look for one. They come quite unexpectedly and often go by unrecognized because we're so busy doing other things.

But since I've mentioned it, I'm going to throw in the link to where my latest book can be found in case you might be interested in something else I've written under the pen name of JS Ririe. https://amzn.to/2BXNSdv 

Unsheltered - Reagan Sinclair, FBI - Book 4, continues the story of a young agent as she is forced into hiding with the baby whose life she saved in the Colombian jungle. It's mostly about making choices, finding answers and living with consequences - something we all have to do. I spend a lot of time thinking about life and how the simplest choices can make the most difference in where we end up or who we become. There is a spark of genius in everyone that can make the world better. I try to look for that in the people I meet each day. 

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