Story prompt – Compliment

I must compliment you both. It’s inspiring the way you complement one another.

Compliments are amazing things, often underestimated, I think.

It seems, if some of the stories I’ve read are to be believed, there are segments of society reluctant to give compliments because they are thought to encourage pride. Then there are other segments who are just plain mean and abusive. Not only do they not give compliments, they pile on the insults.

I love stories where a kind heart recognizes worth and goes to great lengths to promote healthy self-esteem in the down trodden.

There is a popular old story I’ve never forgotten. A young farmer was looking for a wife. He picked a young woman, shy and insecure, with literally no marriage prospects. The village people could not understand his choice, in their estimation she had nothing to offer as a farmer’s wife.

The going bride price was two cows. He chose to pay double that. Four cows was unheard of, never mind for a wife with so few talents to recommend her.

He took her home, treated her like a precious treasure and over time she blossomed to became all he knew she could be.

Compliments are powerful and for us to blossom we need them as much as we need food and water. At least that’s what I think.

Then there is complement. (to make complete)

How many stories have I read lately where the author pairs characters because they complement each other. The restaurant owner who is an awesome chef and a hopeless bookkeeper. The female ranch owner struggling with endless heavy chores requiring a man’s strength. Or even the one tasked with jobs requiring two or more people to meet deadlines. How many of us would kill ourselves trying before we would ever reach out.

It’s not easy admitting we need help. I know I struggle with that. Last summer I chose to fight to prune small trees myself rather than ask. My neighbor who is taller, heavier, stronger, (never mind younger) would have gladly helped.

In stories there is often a stubborn character who will not ask or even allow someone to help. Of course, one of the requirements of a good novel is tension and stubborn provides that in spades. By the end, though, they are working together and life is rosy.

It happens that way in real life too if we let it. We’re better together. Especially when our talents complement one another.

I like these two words.

The same only different.

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Story Prompt is hosted by Sunday Scribblings

What to say…

I’m at a loss for words. After missing several days in my daily blog I need to find something to say. I’m feeling emotionally wrung out, maybe that’s why my mind is empty. I’ll just have to start and see what happens. It will surprise me as much as it will you, guaranteed. It’s funny how one thing leads to another and rabbit holes appear out of nowhere…

Today was the day for our monthly writers group Zoom call. Since I’m part of the executive there is always a feeling of self inflicted pressure to be a good participant not just a passive observer. As an introvert, fly-on-the-wall is where I would rather be. I was trying to be rested and relaxed ready for the camera but it wasn’t working out all that well for me. I started out stressed, like it or not.

Going into the week, I didn’t have an active part in the meeting. That all changed when the agenda came out and I found I was down for a book review. In the end we had more than enough readers (to share stories that would be critiqued) and there was no time for the my contribution. It didn’t get used but it was good writing practice, working on the review was not a total waste.

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I had been thinking several days ago about my style of writing and the type of critique I would like to have. The thing is, I’m often not sure if what I have to say makes sense. Feedback would be helpful. I think I assume people know certain things already and tend to write in note form with little detail. My first clue I do this is when, days later, I read what I’ve written. Sometimes I have no idea what exactly I was getting at. So, going back to the most recent review I’d posted I found myself with a chance to work on making sense.

The review definitely needed to be reworked and expanded. It was a good exercise in figuring out how much extra detail needed to be included. I’ll try to do better the next time I write something like a review or thoughts (like now maybe.)

So, getting back to today’s Zoom meeting. It did the heart good to see everyone again even though we couldn’t be in the same room together. Five members read their stories, each one personal and unique.

They were all good but the one I appreciated most tore us all apart. It was a very raw and real sharing of a lengthy journey with parkinsons. What she has been through, and will continue to go through, is heartbreaking. Yet she has such a positive outlook on life. We could see it cost her dearly to be honest with us. We felt honored to be trusted enough for the privilege of hearing her story.

Today was a day we will not soon forget.

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I’m going to pick up a fast food hamburger and then the mail (it’s been several weeks and I need to get out.) When I come back I’ll see if this still makes sense to me.

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Well, I’ve made changes. I’m not sure it’s enough but time’s getting away on me. At least I’ve finished supper, washed the pile of dishes waiting for me and played a few games on the computer while I was thinking.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day. The word is Resolution. Guess I’m not done thinking for the night quite yet.

Story Prompt – Houseplants

Houseplants

Many of my best memories are attached to houseplants. I can’t say that I am a plant lover but I loved the ones I had because of where they came from.

Growing up we had outside plants. Flower beds and vegetable gardens. We probably would have had houseplants if there was a place to put them. I was ok with no houseplants. We had cats and dogs, that was enough.

Living on my own with my first job, I didn’t have plants or animals. I was ok with it.

Things changed with the addition of a father-in-law.

Most of Dad’s life his family was in the nursery business, he loved plants. The climate was mild where they lived and they were able to grow things in their greenhouses year round. Eventually they became florists as well. They had the flowers so why not. By the time I met him he had scaled back on greenhouses and was buying plants for the flower shop from other growers.

He had this idea that everyone needed plants and he took pleasure in providing them. Whenever he came our way on a buying trip, well, we became the proud owners of new plants. There was no question in his mind that we needed and wanted them, which was pretty funny really, and very sweet.

He would even bring cut flowers occasionally, freesias were my favorite.

We moved many times over the course of the years and the plants always went with us. That is, if they were still alive and able to be moved. Our Fiscus fig tree eventually became too big and needed a new home. We had mixed emotions because Dad had given us the tree as a small plant and it had a lot of miles on it.

Looking at the plants spread through the house was always a reminder of the giver and the time and place. I think that was my favorite part about having plants. The memories.

Over the years, other people would bless us with cuttings from plants we admired. It was nice to have reminders. It seemed we were forever leaving friends behind with our many moves.

Eventually life happened and the plants all went by the wayside, for one reason or another. And then there were none, I was ok with it for a lot of years.

As happens sometimes, all good things must come to an end.

My neighbor had two large plants needing to be farmed out while she had long term house guests. Long term seems to have turned into forever. (I have tried to give them back, numerous times, I can’t argue with the fact I have more room than she does.)

A couple of summers ago I was on a long road trip where I visited with family friends. They have a menagerie of African violets and Spider plants and decided I needed to have some too. I wasn’t sure they would survive the long trip home but they did.

Since then I’ve gained several more plants from local family members.

Things have come full circle and once again I have a house full of reminders of folks who love to give me houseplants.

I love the reminders.

Story prompt was courtesy of Sunday Scribbling hosted by Peckapaloosa: The Confusing Middle

Book Review – Undetected

If I had a 100 Favorites book list this would be on it. This is the 480 page book mentioned yesterday as my possible next read. Once started, I’m no longer sure why it took me so long to get around to it. I imagine I thought it was a stressful thriller when really (by comparison) it’s a milder romance.

Undetected

Amazon synopsis:

When asked what he does for a living . . .

Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the Navy.” But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She’s a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn’t see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter.

I was sad when this story ended. That’s my only complaint.

On the other hand, there are so many things about this book that I loved.

It was definitely engaging.

The research that must have gone into this story is mind boggling. The extensive technical descriptions of life on a armed submarine were highly detailed and believable, to me anyway. I found the life and discoveries of a scientific genius were also detailed and believable. The third part of all this involves the interactions of the characters. The relationships were complex and surprising in the unexpected way they played out.

There were 480 pages and every one of them was savored. Well, almost every one, there may have been a handful of scattered pages describing scenes on the sub where I skimmed a little. The need to read every single page doesn’t happen to me very often but it did for sure this time.

There was a mountain of technical information but at no point did I feel like I was being fed or educated. Dee Henderson has the show-not-tell method conquered.

When I think about the deep complexity of every aspect of this story, I am left shaking my head in wonder. I cannot imagine what it would take to write like this. I would guess that depth in a book is reflective of depth in the author, I think it would be difficult to write what isn’t in you to begin with. Dee Henderson has it in spades.

I was in love with the characters and the life they were living (with all it’s stresses and challenges) I did not want the book to end.

And that’s how it should be.

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I’m not sure where I will go next, This reading experience will be a hard act to follow. I think I need to savor it a bit before deciding on the next book.

Going forward, I’m tempted to start a 100 Favorite Books list with Undetected as the first added to the lineup.

A little this, a little that, at Christmas

This is story prompt Sunday. The word was Jolly. I feel happy and jolly, but totally pulled a blank when it came to anything jolly worth writing about. It’s not a great day for book suggestions either so it will be a this and that kind of a blog day.

I’m good with it. Many thoughts are busily floating through my mind at the moment. As usual, I don’t have any of this planned out. It will be another lets see where we end up post. I’m currently feeling upbeat and I’m pretty sure the post will sound that way too. I don’t want to take a chance with the good vibes I’ve got going on.

I will admit, briefly, that the lead up to this week was anything but jolly. There were a number of emotionally charged things going on and it all brought me to a place where, for days, I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t figure out why. I thought maybe if I gave in to the need the pressure would ease. There were no tears, so that idea was of no value. One thing did help, I counted up all the stresses over the previous week. That explained a lot. Once you get past a certain number a melt down is inevitable.

I worried that a lock-down covid Christmas would only make things worse. Thankfully the opposite happened.

It all began on the 21st when things started out sideways. My daughter-in-law talked about a video call at 4 pm, my eldest and his family. When it didn’t come at four as suggested I thought it wasn’t happening after all. Part way through a piece of blueberry pie my cell phone rang with a video call. No time for primping. I can laugh about it now.

Our whole family gets along well and has a lot of fun together but, scattered all over the country we don’t see each other very often. None of us are good with phone calls either. When we do talk though, it goes on for hours. After three hours I’d seen most of the house and talked with everyone in the house. It was just what I needed.

The next night we had scheduled a full family Zoom call. The first one we’ve ever had as a group and it was four hours of awesome. Nothing fancy or spectacular just the simple joy of being together and seeing each other. I think a few grandkids and a spouse or two may have checked out after awhile and left us to it.

I think part of the reason we were all fully in the moment was the recent loss of an extended family member. It reminded us of the fragility of life. Some of us are not getting any younger and the sudden, unexpected passing could have been any one of us. It sounds like we are going to commit to regular monthly visits while we still can. Just not four hours long. I’m couldn’t be happier about the promise of more visits.

Christmas Eve I delivered gifts to my daughter’s family in the city. I didn’t plan to stay long with covid restrictions in place but I was there long enough to see most of another family Zoom call with the extended side of the family. They enjoy each other immensely too and it was a treat to experience their interactions.

I enjoy all of the families my kids have married into. I feel very blessed. Most, if not all of us, find it easy to allow others into our family circles and it’s awesome.

So, aside from conversations I had fun with gifts this year.

I usually just give the teen-aged boys money. I’m a lousy shopper and I want them to be happy. I fully intended to use that method again this year but at the last minute changed my mind and ordered something. It wasn’t a new thought, I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile now but waffled.

I gave them a family Christmas card explaining that I decided to spend their money for them, the gift would be arriving before the 31st and it is a secret. I know they will love the gift. In the meantime curiosity is driving them crazy. It’s a good thing I’m not with them or they would be dragging it out of me. Anticipation is a good thing sometimes.

Included in the bag with the card was a couple of big bags of variety junk food, flavored chips, and three books. Big books.

Several years ago when their cousins (my other grandkids) were visiting I gifted them with a couple of full bags of books. My goal was to find stories they could get hooked on and from there develop a love of reading. I had selection help from a nerdy, teen-age book-lover sales clerk so I knew the options offered were good.

I held back three books (all part of a series with stand alone books) waiting for them to be in need of more reading material. Middle boy is the book lover, boys one and three – not so much… not yet anyway. The distress over the thought of such long books was hilarious. Their dad said he would give oldest boy fifty dollars if he read the whole 600 pages. (If dad was serious about the reward I think I will make a contribution to the incentive. Must check it out.)

Their reaction was no surprise and I didn’t take it personally. Reading is such an important skill, I wanted to do my part to provide tempting reading material. One day they will find a book they love. Aside from that, it gets easier with practice so any book they read will take them in the right direction.

I know they will be happy with the gift when it arrives, It will have them forgetting all about books, I’m sure.

I was unsure how I would feel about coming home to an empty house at this time of year. Usually I would stay with them for a few days to make the most of the season.

Once in a while, when I return from a family visit, grief at being alone will hit me like an unexpected tidal wave. It didn’t happen this time. I think there were several reasons. My emotional tank was refilled with the many hours spent with my family. (virtual works for me.) At the same time someone was praying for me. A friend mentioned I have been on her mind lately and she’s been praying for me even though she had no idea what the need was. I can still feel the comfort of her prayers wrapped all around me. I am grateful beyond words.

It was in answer to my prayers too. Earlier in the week I had cried out to God in my despair and he answered me. (there is a bible verse that says it like that). The change was so dramatic it feels like a miracle.

So, that’s my story. It has been an unexpectedly good Christmas and I still feel good.

(I hope the same for you)

FREE and bargain books December 24, 2020

It’s Christmas Eve Day! For the moment I am feeling festive in this less than normal time in our lives. Festive moments are good. I like them a lot. The last hour was spent listening to an inspiring podcast about story telling and the importance of regaining our sense of wonder. It was a lot to take in and I plan on listening to it again, probably more than once. My joy in this moment is a direct result of that experience, at a time when I really needed it.

I had no plans to share this podcast with you but here it is anyway. Harris III speaks to the cynical and shares why a sense of wonder can be restored and why it is so important in leadership and in story telling.

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So, back to books – FREE and bargains.

BookBub has a suggestion for us and it is a story that was part of a collection downloaded recently. I’ve read this book and it was excellent. It’s FREE today, this is a good time to take advantage of the opportunity.

A Christmas Homecoming (Sunriver Dreams Book 2)

Amazon quote:

Can the mystery of Christmas unite two hurting hearts?

Bailey Calderwood gives all she has to her job as an interior design assistant, but her best isn’t good enough for her demanding, bed-ridden boss. For some unexplained reason Mona has turned against her. At least not everyone is out to get her. A mysterious admirer is sending her cards and flowers. Could it be her boss’s son who’s recently returned home in time for the holidays?

Stephen Belafonte rushes home from France to be with his mother after her stroke, and is surprised by the rift between his mom and Bailey, her assistant. When his mom demands he fire Bailey, he’s torn between respecting his mother’s wishes and doing what’s best for the family business. Can Stephen find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go?

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BookRunes also has a FREE suggestion, one I’ve read and enjoyed.

Gift of the Magpie

Amazon quote:

Award-winning author Amanda Larrowe has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her next book’s deadline. But as storms move into Richmond, Virginia, Amanda learns that Camden Lancaster, a high school sweetheart, has moved in across the street.

After ten years, Amanda’s heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high-school Valentine’s Day date. Camden may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his charming smile doesn’t win her trust—and certainly not Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor.

Boy is she wrong.

Amanda is about to learn that first loves and broken hearts can sometimes lead to second chances … and a crushing pain that last forever.

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I’m currently reading and almost finished, a book that is still a bargain.

Season of Hope 

Amazon quote:

When a shocking revelation shatters her family and her faith,
will truth prevail and mend what was broken?

Life is good for Ronnie Coborn.

She’s newly married to a man who loves her and dotes on her daughter. A man handpicked by Ronnie’s father, a popular pastor at a megachurch who’s been married to her mother for forty years.

Yes, life is good.

Until a shocking revelation exposes the fact that everything in her idyllic life—her marriage, family, and faith—is based on a lie.

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Happy Reading …

… on the Christmas Eve Day.

Wishing you Peace.

Speaking what’s on my mind.

This is another just start writing day. I’m short on books so I’ve got nothing. There is much going on in my head but it’s all a big jumble. Maybe I’ll just jump in and see where it takes us. I’m sure it will be a surprise, to me anyway. When is it not.

This whole conversation has been going on in my head for decades. The chatter has evolved with experience and I’ve changed with age and maturity. Maybe now, at least more often anyway, with new wisdom I’m able to act rather than react to circumstances and events.

Something I heard once (not sure where, probably a book I read) was a game changer for me. Look at what they do not what they say. If you want to know the truth look at what they do, I’ve found this to be totally true and freeing.

Another game changer for me was Never make decisions when you are emotional. Wait until you can think rationally.

Recently there was another new thought to add to the list. It’s had a huge impact on my thinking. (I forget from where but I think it was a podcast) As the truth of this new idea dawned on me everything changed.

All my life I’d heard we weren’t to judge people (especially with first impressions.) My mind always equated judgment with negativism (you know, all the negative assumptions we can make about people based on their appearance and the car they drive or the house they live in, etc.) and I was under the impression that everyone else thought much the same way. Then I heard we aren’t supposed to judge (make assumptions about someone) for bad or for good.

The thought was expanded to say that it’s just as wrong to make a good assumption about someone as it is to make a bad one.

It’s true. How many times have we assumed good things about people only to discover they weren’t the truth.

It can be a very bad thing to assume good things. Abusers, scammers, and con-artists know how to sell themselves to make us believe they are wonderful and trustworthy. They know how to sell us lies to rob us of our life and our life savings. If we are not on guard and we make false assumptions about goodness we can find ourselves in deep trouble.

Right now we have a rich tycoon in jail for his involvement in sex trafficking for well over several decades. He had most of us fooled and he bullied into silence those who did know the truth. He was not a safe place for many and he had the freedom to keep on abusing.

It seems to be easy to believe the best about bad people and at the same time lay blame and guilt on good people. Have you ever noticed that? I have never really figured out why this is but I’ve seen it happen over and over again. The dishonest seem to know how to work the system. They shout real loud and make crazy demands. They know how to smoke screen and deflect and it seems we fall for it every time. They make us feel like they are the injured party and we should apologize; and we do. This isn’t a new observation – seeing the guilty go free while the innocent are condemned.

These days there are so many people with emotional opinions and responses to a wide array of people and situations and I’m tired of hearing it. The way it’s going the emotional responses bounce back and forth so fast the emotional high never morphs into rational thought on either side of the issue. (Don’t worry, I do tune them out and stop listening. The on/off switch is a wonderful thing)

I would love to offer a challenge but I doubt they would ever take me up on it, mainly because, right or wrong, their minds are already made up. The worst of it is they have beliefs born out of incomplete or inaccurate information. Either there is no more information to be had or they haven’t bothered to research for themselves to see what the truth could be.

In most cases I find that rational minds have quieter voices. Even if they know the truth, and the truth is not good, they may speak out but they aren’t yelling. Unless it’s a pep rally, then they’re yelling

Maybe loud voices are born out of uncertainty and fear. Maybe they think if they yell real loud people will agree with them and it (whatever it is) will all be true.

I wish people would look at what is done and not what is said. I wish they would lay down their emotions and allow themselves to think rationally, without preconceived ideas of what the truth could be. And I wish they would leave assumptions and opinions behind on who is good and who isn’t.

There is safety in truth. How many times have we dodged a bullet by knowing the truth.

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Well, I’m not sure if this whole thing is coherent enough to make much sense but I’m feeling talked out for the moment. I think about this whole subject often, mainly because I’ve needed to figure things out to have peace and safety in my own life. Avoiding unhealthy relationships was certainly one of the reasons to think all of this through.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day and the prompt is – Dance.

I’ve been working on being ready.

It will be a surprise, I’m pretty sure.

Story prompt – Fire

The first thing to pop into my head at this week’s word was “fire in my bones”

There is a picture in my mind of what this means but to be certain I looked up the meaning.

Two expressions were first up.

A driving enthusiasm that compelled action.

intense feeling or passion.

There was a bible verse coming up often in this fire in my bones search too. It’s Jeremiah chapter 20 verse 9. Maybe that’s where I first heard the phrase. In relation to this verse. I don’t really know, but I do have strong memories of feeling this passion in my teens. I have to admit it’s never really left me.

There are two things about this impactful phrase that have followed me all my life.

A passion to make my life count for something. The picture this thought drew in my head did not include great exploits or high positions and wealth. It was simply to make a difference in someone’s life. This thought could have been born out of gratefulness for those who were there for me in my childhood’s time of greatest need. I’ve no idea really. I just remember as a teenager this passion was highly important to me.

The other thing was a recognition of the ongoing need for enthusiasm. Through the years it became very clear to me … to be successful I needed to be passionate about whatever I attempted. I’ve had jobs I liked and some I didn’t. Enthusiasm was a big part of any success I gained.

The other day a friend and I were discussing changes and new requirements that just seem to keep on coming, relentlessly. I laughed and said, I guess it’s a good thing I don’t hate this. A love for what I do keeps me going in the hard places.

I was looking for a picture to go with this fire in my bones thought and did see some I really liked but this one seemed to fit best with the whole thing I’m trying to do here.

It’s a book. What could be more appropriate than that on a blog like mine.

I’ve Got to Write!: It’s Like Fire Shut Up in My Bones!

Amazon quote:

STORIES THAT INSPIRE Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV) But if I will not mention his word or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire shut up in my bones. I’ve Got to Write! It’s Like Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a compilation of smoldering, heartfelt stories of love, compassion, faith, hope, forgiveness, and amazement inspired and told by members of the Chosen Pen Writers Group. For many of our authors, this is their first published work. Yet, the passion and resolve in bringing to light a story that was burning on their hearts can be found on the printed pages inside.

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I will admit I don’t have a fire in me to write. At least not in the most accepted sense of writing. My longing is to make a difference. I don’t feel compelled to be a writer.

Things pop into my mind that could be comforting or encouraging and I feel compelled to share them. I have to write to do that.

I feel compelled, in our world of non readers, to encourage others to become readers. To do this I share books I’ve found to be worth reading. I have to write, at least a little bit, to accomplish this.

This is the fire that keeps me posting often. To encourage.

Learning to write is a side effect of this activity.

It looks like it could be becoming a new passion though.

I guess that must be why I keep writing for this story prompt!

Newly emerging fire.

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Story Prompt is hosted by Confusing Middle’s – Sunday Scribblings

Story prompt – Misery

Story Prompt is hosted by Confusing Middle’s – Sunday Scribblings

Misery

I wanted to be sure I understood the definition of this word at the beginning of the process so I looked it up. I had some preconceived ideas happening and was headed in a certain direction with this story but with the proper definition in mind I’ve had to rethink some things. I will still end up in the same place though, because it’s a good place.

The general consensus seems to be that misery is an emotion stemming from overly wanting what you don’t have or overly NOT wanting what you DO have.

I don’t know that I would describe myself as miserable. My thinking was – it is what it is. Count your blessings, it could be worse.

I wasn’t happy for the above reasons. Wanting and not wanting. Life was complicated. At least my life was. There was nothing I could do to change any of it. The hopelessness of that reality made things harder to handle.

After a few decades of emotional decline (hopelessness will do that to you) it occurred to me that I needed to take a stand. Life could not go on as it was, changes were needed. I wasn’t sure how this conversation would go. Let’s just say things moved rather quickly and before I knew what was happening I was free of the situation.

One of the most difficult things, in those early years, was the passive aggressive nature behind the misery. I felt all alone, like no one noticed what was (or wasn’t) happening and I felt that if I talked no one would believe me anyway.

I still feel the same way, actually. I haven’t managed to clear the belief hurdle enough to talk about those years to any great extent. I’m working on it but it’s a slow process.

The good news is that there are small victories along the way and they are always a surprise.

The positive thing coming out of today’s exercise is encouraging and validating.

Back in the early days I thought no one noticed.

Today I realize I was wrong.

As I was putting this piece together in my head I was thinking about three nice gifts offered over the course of several years. Back then I looked at surface reasons for the gifts and while I was grateful, I can now see that I was missing the point.

Looking at the memory of those gifts (experiences) from today’s perspective I can see that they were designed to be helpful. Someone was paying attention and wanted to make a difference.

Here I thought no one noticed.

One emotion I am not feeling with this realization … misery.

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Further reflection (by the light of day) has me realizing many people could have known and yet no one said a word.

Embarrassment comes crashing in to replace relief that at least one someone knew.

Misery follows hard on the heels of embarrassment.

Denial won’t work, saying you are assuming too much, people didn’t know. A dozen or more years ago in a drug store, I ran into a man visiting in my new town. In the midst of catching up he admitted he knew, way back then.

I’ve come too far now in the healing process to let misery win. I can’t and I won’t.

Every hard thing faced has led me to a better place. Facing this new revelation will only help things along.

Besides, I don’t like misery well enough to wallow in it! So, there.