Sam & Dave

I will call him ‘Sam.’ He is an elderly man I help take care of where I work. One day he was walking back from lunch and he asked me if I ever seen a picture of his horse. I tell him no, so he invites me to his room to take a look at it. There above his bed is a large hand painted picture of him in a suit sitting on a beautiful well groomed black stallion. Sam looked happy and well distinguished. I must say he was quite handsome in his younger days. He goes on to explain to me how he raised horses and for many years would show them in various competitions. It was one of the things that brought him joy, it still does today. With a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eyes he went on to tell me about his life as an executive assistant administrator and avid horse rider. He was never married and didn’t have any children. Most importantly he had no regrets. He didn’t need anyone to complete him and he has accomplished most of his goals. With contentment written all over his face he sits down in a chair by his bay window and says, “I did things I enjoyed doing. I never felt the need to conform to whatever everyone else was doing.” Marriage was a big deal back then, but Sam always felt satisfied and fulfilled with who he was and what he did. This man has family and good friends that have brought him happiness throughout the years. Nephews, nieces, and friends from times of old come to visit him often. Everyday he walks around with a smile on his face as he greets each passerby.

The other day I had to run out to Terra, my school, and pick up some paper work. When I was walking into the office I seen a familiar face, I will call him ‘Dave.’ He waves and asks, “how are you doing kid?” Real good, I say. He is somewhat older than me, I’m not sure if he is old enough to call me kid, but it works for me. No complaints on my end. Seeing him sent a wave of memories from when I first met him. It was in the gym at the college. ┬áMy impression was that I felt sorry for him. Dave is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair. I thought to myself how is he going to workout? After taking off his jacket and seeing is upper-body strength I knew that he must work his arms out. He did just that. The whole time with a smile. Afterwards I seen that he was working in one of the offices at the college. He was helping a student do something on the computer. Another student sat a few seats down and after he was done with the first student he wheeled himself to assist the second one. I thought that was wonderful. Wow! He can help others. Many times through the last year I would see him laughing and conversing with students and teachers, paper work in his hands wheeling himself into one classroom after another. A look of genuine happiness smothered all over his face. He looked fulfilled despite his disabilities. What a role model he would be for anyone that is in a wheelchair. Good for him!

Meditating on these two men I have learned a lot. Sam lived a fulfilled and happy life without the need to be with someone. Dave lives a fulfilled life being disabled. There are people who have everything and are not as happy as these two men. They give me hope. They show me that just because you are not hooked up with someone or if there is something wrong with you doesn’t mean your life is doomed. I’m sure there was pressure on Sam to marry, and I’m sure Dave had to overcome obstacles to get where he is today. Obviously, that hasn’t stopped either one. Happiness is what I want out of life. Courage to take chances doesn’t come easy for me, but with these two examples I’m hoping that I muster up some. They are proof that just because you are not the norm nor do you live like the norm doesn’t mean you cannot have a fulfilled, happy, and long life. I hope to achieve their type of happiness no matter what the outcome is for me. I want to wear the smile that they do. At the end of my life I want it to be filled with laughter and togetherness.

Hurt and Happiness Lives In the Same Place

1619518_746232038740873_907428331_nI don’t believe you let go of pain or hurt. There is no cure. I believe you learn to live with it. The hurt you have had in the past lives beside the happiness of the present. They both share the same space. It gets better when I began to replace the hurt with more memories of happiness, but the hurt is still there. Do I believe you heal so to be happy again? Yes. Does life go on? Absolutely. It’s important to make peace with the past. If you can’t do that you will never move on. There is no right or wrong answer on how to create that peace. I always felt that I needed an explanation why it all happened the way it did. If I could understand then I would accept it even if I received a stupid answer, at least it would have been something. The harsh reality is that sometimes you don’t get what you are looking for. I had to move on with the assumption of ‘it is what it is.’But I believe deep down I knew why.

How do you move on when words are left unsaid? First, I had to admit that actually a lot of words were said. Maybe not the words I wanted to hear but nonetheless there were words. Second, I had to take the blame for my part. Third, I had to dig deep in my heart and see outside the box. I had to place myself on the outside looking in. The picture became clearer. Fourth, since I didn’t get an explanation, I assumed my own. It made me feel better to accept the answer I came up with. Fifth, I learned the things I will never put up with again. Sixth, all you can do is ride the storm out and have faith. Surround yourself with people that care for you. My start was slow because I lived somewhere that didn’t give me the support that I desperately needed. What did I do? I kept on track and moved forward through opposition. Find things that bring you joy. Hobbies are wonderful in passing time and occupying one’s mind. Helping and encouraging others why you are healing is a BIG help in that process. Don’t try to force bad memories from your mind, learn to deal and live with them in a positive way.
They are not going anywhere. I had to be strong and go through all the emotions. There is no way around it, so don’t look for a quick cover-up. It won’t work. I had to take one day at a time and accomplish small goals. Just remember you are not alone. You are not the only person to go through heartbreak. The greatest comfort was praying to God, knowing that He loves me and helped me made the major difference! Do not ever forget that. I still have my bad days but I will never give up. There will be set backs but push forward. There are times where I have to push myself out of bed, but I do it. Here is a little secret that has helped me; when I feel down, I remember the feeling of a good day. Not just what happened but HOW IT MADE ME FEEL. I want to feel that way again so I do something for that feeling to return. Writing in this blog gives me that feeling. Whatever made you feel happy and positive do that! Routine helps me. Exercise helps me. Trust me on this one, if I don’t have those two I struggle to keep focused. Guess what? I need to keep myself on a routine and I need to exercise. Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. I will always get up, get dressed, and show up. One door closes and another one will open. Just step through…