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Love or Hate,
Positive or Negative,
Forgiveness or Revenge,
Clarity or Regret,
Fight or Surrender,
Right or Wrong.
Does It Matter?
Do We Matter?
Yes or No?
Victim, Misfit, Steadfast, Hero
The choice to be a better person and rise beyond a given expectancy will always be a difficult objective, but can be achieved. However, no matter what troubles or misfortunes a person may have endured or faced, none can come close to the challenges of another. The upmanship of misery is endless.
How is it that some people adapt or manage their misfortune; be it monetary, physical or situational and not give-up or wallow in self-pity or insanity? Is life really a matter of being exposed to the right choices versus the limitation of others to these right choices? Is it luck? Is it being in the right place at the right time? The answer will always be, maybe. Nothing is ever a definitive yes or no, black or white. The majority of people exposed to wrong choices may make wrong choices because those choices are easier, require less work, and are of little or no consequence. They are void of a conscience: that inner feeling or voice viewed as a moral guide to our decisions.
Does misery cross all economic and educational levels? I say yes. If so, then why the vast differences in the way we accept our fate? I am convinced that fate germinates within our family dynamics. What kind of work ethic or morals were we brought up with? Did God play a part? Were we exposed daily to love and understanding? What lurking destiny do our genes or environment play? Were drugs or addictions a factor? The variety and complexity of man’s behavior transcends its research and literature leaving us to question whether we will definitively ever understand why we do what we do.
“A monster connotes something wrong or evil; generally morally objectionable, physically or psychologically hideous: a freak of nature.” (1)
I recently went to a movie where the hero is talking to the villain and he relates a chilling story of a young man who suffered unmentionable torture and abandonment when a small child but was rescued by a kind, well-to-do man and his family. The man treated the young boy with respect and loved him like a real son. Years later and to the horror of community, the kind man and his wife were brutally murdered in a would be robbery. No one could imagine why such a saintly and generous couple would have deserved such a fate. The crime was never solved until the moment the hero let the villain know, he knew.
The villain, intuitively afraid that his kind parents would grow weary of him and abandon him to whilst he had come, killed them and thus controlled his fate. Psychopaths and sociopaths are among us and throw a wrench into any concrete theory on the subject of redemption. Here, the villain’s fear of rejection was stronger than the new-found love of acceptance. His choice was as skewered as his troubled mind.
The Unsung Story of The Mom, the Good Son and the Phoenix of Love
“A phoenix is a long-living bird found in Greek mythology that is cyclically reborn: rising from the ashes of his death.” (1)
There once was a baby girl born to a family of love. She developed into a smart and beautiful young lady but ran away from her devoted parents and ordered life toward one with excitement and adventure. She was only thirteen and madly in love with her new-found beau who owned his own corvette and promised her paradise. How was she to know that running away would cause her to become pregnant at fifteen and forced to marry? She missed out on high school, college and a life of means. Instead, with an 8th grade education (she eventually got her GED) two babies in tow, one boy and one girl, ended up divorced and alone. Once again she became infatuated , married and had two more children; another boy and a girl. Now there were four little babies born to a mother of love. Once again she divorced, but this time the man of her dreams kidnapped his children and now she had two. Worried and going out of her mind with grief, she tried to get her children back . But alas, they were in another state and out of reach from her money and love.
The good son adored his mom and did everything he could to make her life better during this heart breaking time in her life. She soon adjusted and became a great waitress and managed to keep her remaining son and daughter happy with sheer determination. She never once blamed anyone for her misfortune or sought revenge, but focused on the road ahead. With nothing more than a sustained drive to succeed, she got her two estranged children back, smothered them with love and became a manager of a fabulous and well-respected restaurant. Meanwhile the mom married again but to someone who finally respected her strength and helped raise the children and in doing so found contentment for the first time in his life vicariously through hers.
All was going well until that fateful day when the oldest son, the kind son, the good son; while checking cable lines for his company in a “cherry picker”, was electrocuted. He lived but not without experiencing excruciating pain and disfigurement. He had burns over 50% of his body and had to have his left ear and arm removed. The mom had to once again endure the nightmare of fate. She was devastated beyond endurance. The mother of love stayed with her son night and day, leaving him only for a bit of fresh air and to attend to her panicked family. She prayed, she went to church; she begged God to help her angel survive not only physically but mentally during his trial for life.
And survive he did, with flying colors. He never complained, he never cried and he never took a handout, only a hand up. He went to computer school, refused to wear a prosthesis or cover his head where his ear and hair use to be. The good son was not ashamed of his looks. He wore them as a symbol of his survival. He found a job driving a fork lift (with one arm) at a giant box store that eventually evolved into a managerial position. He became an awesome father, a terrific husband, a home owner and drives a hot sports car just like his daddy did in the day. This outstanding young man turned a horrific tragedy into a proud and seasoned life. He is and always will be an unsung hero of mine and all that are fortunate to know him.
The mother of love was happy again. Her angel was healing and she was on schedule for another promotion. One day she felt pain and tightness on her left side. She ignored the discomfort thinking she had twisted it some how. Months went by and it was time for her annual check-up. She mentioned the annoying pain that never really seemed to go away to her doctor. He ordered tests to diagnose the problem but they all came back negative. She shrugged it off and continued on her journey. That summer she started to have chest pains and went to the hospital to make sure she was not having a heart attack. The tests came back negative but her doctor wanted some additional tests done to see if they could find out where her alternative source of pain was located. This time an MRI showed a spot on her left lung. The mom had to have exploratory surgery for a biopsy or removal of the lymph node in question. This surgery sent her backwards. She went to bed for a week trying to recuperate from the unbearable pain inflicted on her little body.
The thoracic surgeon soon called with the tragic news. The loving mom of four children and devoted wife, had lung cancer. Although further testing after the removal of the node proved negative, the decision was made to remove her left lung. Now she cried, now she felt her life was marginal, but again vowed to do what she had to do to survive. Her family deserved her to stay strong and to fight. The following January was set for her final surgery. She went in looking great and feeling good. A positive attitude going in would guarantee a positive attitude coming out. The surgery was a grand success with the patient up and walking the next day! The mom never blamed anyone but herself for her problems. She had stopped smoking but not soon enough. Smoking and lung cancer had killed her father but now she had been spared.
Although her courageous fight with cancer seemed over, life would not be easy. Having one lung is a tenuous and painful path leaving her remaining lung and heart in a state of flux. But with exercise, good food and not having to work for eight months, the loving mom is back to normal.
Because of her dedication and impeccable work ethics, she was given full paid leave during her absence. No one in the history of the company had ever been treated with such generosity and concern. The remarkable mom did not become an invalid or addicted to substances or draw disability like she could have. She turned a “yes I can” attitude into a reality not only within herself but within her children as well. This outstanding person is the phoenix of love and inspiration.
“Accept the things fate
binds you and love the people
with whom fate brings you together,
but do so with all your heart.”
(2) Google images: insanity