Monday, January 22, 2018

Good Questions

Wow. Just wow.

I've been working on this post for a week or longer trying to find adequately meaningful words to convey my feelings regarding the many messages and comments I've received concerning my previous post, "Uncrossing My Fingers." And all I can come up with is wow. Just wow. I'm overwhelmed by your responses, truly and deeply overwhelmed. Thank you so much for your continued support and your steadfast encouragement. So often I feel that the words I pen are disjointed and rambling, and I wonder why in the world anyone would ever read them. And yet so many of you remain not only loyal to reading, but also incredibly faithful to message and tell me to get back to it. Again, all I can say is wow. Just wow.

Ollie and I were joined a few weekends ago by the newest addition to my family of canine grandchildren, Chewbacca, a 9-week-old chocolate labrador puppy, and Brad's longtime dog pal, Max, his 10ish-year-old chocolate lab. Just as you forget how active toddlers are, you forget how busy puppies can be. Suffice it to say that if had only a tiny portion of the energy that Chewy the wild thing has, I could rule the world. Since I couldn't take my eyes off of my new granddog lest he get into mischief, I spent most of that weekend stretched out on my living room floor corralling the non-stop little pup while I read through hundreds of emails. I had a whole list of things I thought I needed to get done those couple of days, but as it turned out, not one of those things was more important than embracing the great big dose of puppy love Chewy so sweetly gave me and reading the inspiring and uplifting words in so many of your messages.

As I read email after email, I noticed that many of them contained questions ... questions that, even though they were worded differently, had an undeniably common theme. It's not unusual for the messages I receive to contain questions ... in fact, it's more unusual when they don't. But these questions ... the similarity of these questions was, well, it was kind of eerie and maybe even a little borderline creepy. Not in a "sleep with a baseball bat under my pillow because someone is going to try to kill me" kind of creepy but in a "whoa, there's obviously some life-changing lesson or soul-searing truth I'm supposed to get from this" kind of creepy. In saying that, I certainly don't mean to imply that the questions were offensive or wrong or bad in any way ... in fact, they were quite the opposite. Your questions forced me to take a very hard, and at times painful, look at my heart and dig way down deeply into the shadows of my soul. They made me admit that uncrossing my fingers when it comes to people is way more complicated than I had guessed it would be.

My intent when I began this post was to write a powerfully eloquent response to your questions, but I quickly realized as I attempted to do so that there are certain sentiments ... certain thoughts ... certain feelings and emotions that really can't be adequately served by mere words. There are times when answers aren't black or white ... times when they aren't concrete ... times when they ebb and flow with the passage of time and the changes that life brings. So my answer to your questions very well may be seen by some of you as me not giving an answer at all. But it's the only answer I have, at least for now anyway. More than an answer, I suppose it's rather a knowledge ... an understanding ... an acceptance of the part of me that many would label as weakness or lack of self-esteem or even a character flaw. It's the part of me that simply cannot turn my back on the people who've hurt me. If they wanted to be a part of my life again, I'd willingly let them. If they needed my help, I'd readily give it. Call me weak, naive, too trusting or even just plain old stupid, but that's who I am. At the very core of my being, that is truly who I am.

While many will say my previous statements indicate that I am wavering from my one and only resolution for this year, I assure you that's not the case at all. I haven't wavered nor have I given up on my quest to uncross my fingers and let go of the hope that certain people will eventually miss me or value me or respect me or care about me like I thought they did before. If anything, I believe, or at least I want to believe, that my resolve to succeed in keeping my resolution is even stronger than it was when the idea first formed in my mind. Since beginning the journey, however, I've learned that uncrossing my fingers doesn't mean I stop caring. That's not what it means now, and it will never mean that to me. I've been told a time or two over the years ... OK, maybe more than a time or two ... that I care too much about other people and not enough about myself. Maybe that's true, and it most likely is, but I'd sure rather care too much about others than to not care enough.

Since I sort of kind of but maybe not really answered your good questions, the dilemma I now have is how to close tonight's post. In my opinion, there's really only one way and that's with a picture of Chewbacca the puppy. OK, OK ... one of Chewy with Ollie, too. Be kind to each other, friends.

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