pursue stuff that matters

pursue stuff that matters

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Ah... to have a daughter like that.”

This Friday is better than Good, it is Glorious. The sun shines, mussel lime-curry broth simmers, I have 4 dark chocolate almond bars stashed, and my friend’s remark: “Ah... to have a daughter like that,” echo’s in my head.

Last month my old friend Virginia and I reconnected by phone after several years of no communication. She was shocked when I retold my story of how our family recently overcame several years of life-altering challenges.

She listened empathetically, but was clearly surprised by the concentration and severity of the suffering and pain we endured. After sharing the gory details of disease and hardship, I told her of the daughter I would call daily with, ‘I need you NOW’ requests of her company, fresh clothes, dog sitting, meetings with specialists. I told Virginia how this daughter never failed to respond with an immediate, “No problem mom, I’m on my way!” and she’d run from work, leave her latest art project or friends to sit with me overnight in emergency rooms, hotels and at my bedside.

But when I told Virginia this daughter did not once even hint at my burden, not once hesitate, or even give a sigh during yet another 3:00am call, .... she fell silent, and after a long pause, she softly whispered, “Ah... to have a daughter like that.”

Chills ran up my spine. In that moment I got it. Yes, we can all do what is required of us at a time of need, but to do so with such a light and open heart is truly an act of grace. And, ah... I have a daughter like this!

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moral dilemma... what would you do?

I’m at Zellers when I spot a paunched middle-aged man crouching on the floor with an L-shaped periscope. He appears to be using a spy device to look up over and into the next isle. I follow him.

He slides, slowly inching along the floor with his peeping pipe, while I nonchalantly fondle scarves and panty hose. I am watching the watcher.

At the end of row ‘J’, I see a young girl. She has blonde and bright purple streaks of hair, heavy black made-up eyes, and a cherub face that is no more than 14 or 15. She is oblivious to her situation.

Later, lined up at one of several busy cashiers... lo and behold; cherub is in the line next to mine. She appears even younger close up. She is pouty with an “I’m pretending I don’t know you” attitude. She’s with her mother.

And of course.... just beyond the purchase area, waits Mr. Periscope. He has that smug face people with small power get. He is swaggering, one hand on his hip and the other rubbing his neck.

I hear a whisper, “Go and warn her!” The voice is telling me what I already feel. My gut says to step into their lives, and save this baby and mom from the pain and anguish of what is about to happen.

But I don’t.

My heart sinks as the store cop pounces. His face is filled with intensity, but behind the strain there is also pride and a hint of delight at capturing his prey. Cherub cries out and I can’t stop my eyes from welling up with tears as she sobs and is forcibly shoved back into the store. Her mom follows behind in shock.

When retelling this story to friends, almost 100% agree... I probably saved the wee one from a life of kleptomania and nipped her criminal activity in the bud. They are of mother Alice’s persuasion – “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

But if I had to do it over again, I would have heeded ‘the voice’ and altered reality with the whisper: “Sweetie, empty your pockets before that security dude jumps all over you!”

What would you do?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pursue stuff that matters: I’m finally in therapy...

Pursue stuff that matters: I’m finally in therapy...: "Stress can do you in. It’s sneaky business that can bushwhack you with elusive aches and pains that even Dr. Oz won’t tackle. On a recent ..."

I’m finally in therapy...

Stress can do you in. It’s sneaky business that can bushwhack you with elusive aches and pains that even Dr. Oz won’t tackle.

On a recent trip to Shoppers Drug Mart, for yet one more overpriced medical product to mask yet, one more embarrassing symptom, a pack of 24 crayons caught my eye. I was at a mental health crossroad: for a couple of bucks I could buy myself an art project or another tube of Preparation H.

Science tells us that when you feel like shit – pardon the segue— you need to find ways to decrease the level of stress hormones and increase your neurotransmitters and endorphins to feel better. And when I cracked open the crayola and instinctively took a whiff, I started sniffing like a glue head looking for a hit and knew I was on track. What a buzz! It was an instant sliding door back to a rainy afternoon in 1962 where I’m wearing my brother Louis’ horse and cowboy pajamas, sprawled out on the living room floor.

When I held those perfectly sharpened reds, blues, yellows, and began stroking waxy gritty rainbows, the tension in my neck and shoulders eased and was replaced with the knowing smile that cellular cravings were being miraculously satiated.

For colouring fans, there’s a Facebook page: “Eating Crayons!” http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eating-Crayons/102649674259 where members say: “Purple tastes like eggplant, and the pink ones taste like vagina.” And if you have a moment, read “Crayon Freak’s” blog, but be forewarned it sounds butt-painful. She’s a 35-year-old woman with four children with an advanced degree, who has been compulsively and secretly eating crayons for months and says, she’s not chewing the odd one; she’s eating an entire 64-count box. And doing it several times a week.

As I sat crossed legged on the floor, I admit a slight temptation: What if I mix pink with a little brown? Who knows, maybe a little wax will adhere to parts down-under. Either way, colouring offers opportunity. It is an elixir that allows JOY to leap off of Bristol board and say, YES choose me, CHOOSE happiness. And I do.

Happy colouring!