Wednesday, July 15, 2009
... behind every strong woman
.... are women that are just as strong!! When I was growing up, most kids would have told you I was weird and yes, I suppose I was now that I look back....
I was an awkward child and not very co-ordinated - my mother used to say I had two left feet. My two left feet always came into play when there were plates to be carried to the table laden with goodies which almost always ended up on the floor. Mitchel (my second child) is a lot like that and meals can be interesting when we have to regroup and find a substitute for the rice bowl that has landed upside down on the carpet. I am a middle child too with a syndrome I am sure is in keeping with his. My legs were too long, my hair was stringy, my freckles clouded my features and my teeth were bucked. I was teased a lot in those days and after my teeth were somewhat straightened by a well meaning orthodontist in the mid 70's, I still felt awkward and out of place. Somehow I was different from the other girls and the constant reminder of that played out time and again through high school. I wasn't interested in coiffing my hair, doing my nails or putting on a front. I was a tomboy who had spent most of her childhood climbing trees and playing in the forest with the guys. I could hold my own pretty good - after all - when you are misunderstood and bullied, you can withdraw or fight back. I always stuck up for myself and spoke out when I thought something was not right - I would defend my friends despite receiving the sucker punch meant for them and I held fast.... some people were scared by that... after all, girls were supposed to be petite and demure and any deviation from that was greatly frowned upon and punished. Some even thought that I was tough which meant I had no feelings and could take whatever they threw at me..... those crushing blows would stay with me a long time but would eventually form that inner strength which has been tempered with time and matured with experience. So here I am strong and resilient and a basket case when I first heard the diagnosis. I must have spent hours mulling it over, putting into perspective and then making the decision to just keep going.... that is my lifelong mantra when life feels like it is falling apart. I have stayed the course in my life and held fast in my beliefs - I am true to myself, candid, honest and open with others. I care deeply for the people around me and am genuine in my bid to help whomever I can, when I can. I choose to take the positives in the things that happen to me and taking the high road is really the only option. I don't like it when I find myself on occasion being catty and I detest pettiness of all kinds... life is too short.
My husband wants me to write about the other side of me... the one that is the soft woman whom only those very close to me know and even then only catch glimpses. He brings out that side of me easily in the quiet hours when we are alone. I am sure that in our early days together, he caught a glimpse and knew that the exterior was just a paint job. He has taken it upon himself to lovingly scrape the paint away over the years with patience, understanding and of course lots and lots of laughter. He can make me giggle like an idiot with his facial manipulations and Mr Bean like mannerisms. He is my soul mate and my dearest friend. He is the one who holds my hand at night when the tears start, kisses my cheeks and holds me close.
We are together and committed to each other no matter what... we took our vows to heart. We knew soon into our relationship that we were soul mates and have been constant companions ever since. I am a private person when it comes to expressing my deepest feelings and so this blog has become an outlet on a very public forum with the backing from someone who knows me best.
I moved around a lot as a child - my Dad was in the service and so making friends was easy - the hard part was keeping them. After so many moves in so short a time, I have vague memories of people whom I was a friend to and who were my friends. I still have some of them on my Facebook and can't believe that I was not a part of their weddings, children's births or really any of their biggest moments..... those would be my regrets. Being close somehow meant that we had to say goodbye soon and somehow the pain of that became too much for me and so I distracted myself with school and work. I have learned to take the time to acknowledge people and to ask how they are and to show a genuine interest in what they are doing and to not be afraid to be left out. I talk to the people I want to and are kind to those that I do not care as much for... I always tell my children - you are not going to like everybody and not everybody will like you.... that stings a little but it keeps it real. I tell them to always be respectful and kind to others and to try to do a random act of kindness every day... you never know where it will take that person's day and how they will affect others. We are all here to learn and better ourselves through ours and other's actions.
I wish to thank everyone who has offered friendship, support and of course the hugs!! When a conversation starts with 'what can I do for you?' I will always answer that hugs are always the best - it is what creates bonds between people!!
I will know more about my surgery and the extent of treatment in the next few weeks and will continue to share that with all of you.