Sunday, August 07, 2005

Navigating to a better place

I owe you, Gentle Reader, an apology. I have been re-reading some of my recent posts. Boy, what a WHINER I have been lately.

I've gotten lost in my own fears. I've allowed myself to wallow around in self-pity long enough, thank you. I have to get back on track. One of the biggest "rules" that we have at our house is this one:
We are always optimistic until we can't be anymore.
My mother, bless her heart, has no sense of direction whatsoever. She simply cannot reliably tell you which way is north, east, south, or west. Regular maps are meaningless to her because she can't figure out which way to go from where she is. When she is driving, she has to memorize a series of landmarks to get to and from places like the grocery store; as a child I became keenly aware of this, and would try watch carefully to make sure that my mom didn't miss the turn into our neighborhood, or that she didn't go sailing right past the street that our church was on. If, however, I had my nose buried in a book (as I so often did) Mom would just keep on driving, or worse yet, she would turn the wrong way at a landmark, and neither one of us would have any idea of where we were.

Mom's lack of direction meant that on more than one occasion, we would wind up "visiting" a part of our city that we didn't intend to. We would stumble upon some interesting little neighborhood, or find some dusty little shop that looked intriguing. We ate a variety of foods from all kinds of little Mom & Pop restaurants. We would always find our way back home again, where I would regale Daddy with tales of our "adventures" at dinner that evening.

My mother is still, to this day, one of the most beautiful, intelligent, loving, creative women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She has a wonderful, positive spirit. (She's also one of my best friends in all the world) But she can't find her way out of a wet paper bag. She simply has no sense of (physical) direction.

So that is how I was raised. By this wonderful, optimistic woman, laughing behind the wheel of the car as we rolled down another unfamiliar street. She taught me that anything can be an "adventure". That there are "happy accidents" if you can just see them. That you have to be optimistic until you just can't be any more.

But lately I had forgotten The Rule. I have been so busy being a WHINER that I have failed to see the adventure that is squarely before us.

The adventure is the struggle to get Twinkle up out of that wheelchair, and back on her feet. We did it once before, when she was a toddler. When she was born, the doctors told us she would never be able to walk. We proved them wrong once. We can prove them wrong again. It may take more time than we want it to, it may not happen the way we want it to, but we can do this. Together, as a family, there is nothing that the three of us can't do. There is no place we can't go.

As long as we don't let my mother drive us there.

1 comment:

Magazine Man said...

Oh please. One of these days I will post an audioblog of my daughter wanting to know WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY can't she stay up and watch one more video? WhY? Why? Why Whyyyy-eeee?

THAT is whining.

You have not been whining. At most, you've been venting. And isn't that what this is for (in part anyway)?

Also, whining is very different from wallowing in self-pity, a pasttime I heartily endorse from time to time, because it can be SO satisfying. Wallowing is fine too, although that really wasn't in evidence either.

Hope you're all doing better...