Yesterday, I decided to go on a peace walk. Lingering through the day didn’t know what to make of the chill in the air. Could it already possibly be time for the fall of the leaves, the steeping of hot coco and time for the hayrides. It just seemed like there was such a rush to get to the amusement parks and swimming pools, the need for an ice block fan. But no, here we are. Hoodies and boots. Oranges and yellows. So, i walked to take it all in. And, glorious it was. I wondered up Dove Street onto Ryder and there I saw a woman. Just nimble and humble in her ways. I just took in the view of what that moment had to offer. She silently lagged her groceries across the road, loneliness at it best. I wondered if I could help. That is when I watched the truck speed by offering no help. One by one they passed, hardly even slowing down. But, she continued to walk on across. Almost, as she hadn’t even noticed the business of the day at hand. I began to put fuel in my step. I must help her. She can’t do it alone. I sped up. I got to her, just as she had laid her baggage down on the sidewalk. I was to late. Defeated.
“My child, what is wrong” she implored of me. I didn’t even realize that she had looked past my panting huff. I tried creating a diversion for i didn’t want her to see my lack of suffiency mix with my need to want to help her. “My child, what is wrong” boldly she stated, as if I even stood a chance of ignoring her this time.
She began to talk, and I courageously listened. “My child, when you have been present in the world as long as I have. When you have had your attendance check marked on the roll call sheet for all these dates, you learn how to read people, dear. And, you child, are spreading a different view then your mouth is speaking. So I ask you again?
“Okay, okay you got me.” Not as if I could hide it any longer. I mean I think the only one I could properly confuse was myself. That one right there was naive at best, that she could hide all these emotions behind one big and bright smile. ” I guess I just truly get upset at how the people past you on by without the offer of respect as you crossed that street. Not one pause. No one stop. Or even a pause to ask if you needed help. It frankily is not something that sits well with me. I am so beyond blessed that I was raised with hospitality and respect, not forgetting that I am to respect the little as well as the big, but, ma’am it is times like these that they make it so hard for me and my upbringing. That is just alot.”
“Well, honey” she said at best trying to calm my spirits. “That’s the thing. People are not at all once what they were. They have a different character makeup than you are used to. Where you see lack of respect, they see time consuming. And, where you have saw rude and disrespectful, they just see normal everyday life!”
“But ma’am,” I felt myself wanting to explode ” why, how, when”
“My dear child, you have to understand that times are different, and they change. We’re all a little different, and as we go into the next time period if we don’t carry what we learn, it will be lost to the times. It would just be merely a fraction of time that only carries mementos, not lessons. You have to want to carry on these things. Your parents or authority figures have to want it to go on with you. And you have to want it as well. You have to be willing to receive as well as have the abitly to give. It is a process, and somewhere along the way these little impacts have lost the pizzazz they once used to carry”
“What do you mean by that ma’am” I inquired of her “Pizzazz”
“Well, darling haven’t you ever heard of pizzazz?!”
And by this point I knew that she was going to tell me and was nothing but ears. I was intrigued, almost beguiled by these jewels that she was going to deposit into my bank. I knew that I would be able to retrieve this information and use it one day. I just had to eagerly listen, ACTUALLY LISTEN to all she had to say. I had to understand that she had stories to tell, and not just dilapidated moments of confusion. After all, she was able to get back and forth from the store with all her baggage, better than half the athletes I knew in my neighborhood. They often used bikes, and skateboards and more recently hover boards (who would have thought) instead of their two feet, one step at a time.
“Well, my dear, do you have some time for me to talk to you?”
“Why yes, yes I do!!” I said, almost to the point of being exclamatory.
“You see growing up, we knew a lot (or so we began to think) and probally saw more than we should have. We knew, as we grew through the years, what true hate, despair, and loss was. We were recalling on the War that was hard to mention. A time we didn’t want to revisit, but we must if we want to remember the pain and sadness it brought. It was a scary time, my dear friend; one that I hope you never have to visit or know” she began to go off kilt in her voice, as you could adamantly hear the sadness, ” But, from the pain and the despair, we also learnt what it was like to love and hold on. We knew and believed if we could hold on for a couple more days, a couple more months that this would soon all be over and be done. We would be counted lucky if we were able to ever hold our loved ones again; much less see them. There was so many that was lost to the enemy, lost to the after effects and sadly for them, nothing was ever the same, ever again. I don’t think you could ever count what was lost to this war, at least if you counted more than monetary devices. By watching our fathers, our teachers, our brothers, our preachers go into a place no man could ever describe. Almost an environment, where you would be man encountering beast in order to survive. And, by doing this the men and women who were serving our country, left us in charge here. We had to hold on to what we could. We had to pull together for the greater good, even though it seemed minimal at best”
I thought it was time to give her some air to breathe, so I was trying to come up with some sort of question. Anything, in that moment!
But, I don’t think nothing would or could sway her from the place that she had gone. I am honestly not convinced that she ever did. I don’t think that I could ever imagine being in such a place. It sounded awful, dreadful; not understanding how she could have ever fought through it, so I simply implied, “How did you?”
“See, my child, that is what you are missing. That is where the world is missing out on one of the most important life lessons they could ever gain. God never promised you that this life would be easy, nor did it say it would be hard. He simply told you it would be possible. It would be possible to hold on and get through. It is all in which set of glasses you chose to look through. To observe and see the life that God had handed you. I am not saying that I didn’t want to give up, didn’t want to run and hide, cause I did. Oh, dear you have to understand something. When I saw that Buick come rolling down the driveway that Saturday afternoon in April, I knew it wasn’t the local Girl Scout troop trying to get me to buy peanut butter rollouts from the yearly collection. I wasn’t that naive. I knew that my sweet Matthew Gregory hadn’t made it. That he had gave his life for something he considered so valuable. Something that money, prestige and pride could never buy. He gave his life for freedom. The freedoms that many take for granted each and every day. And, I had to decide what to do with that. Was I to take and hide my head under the covers and hide from the world as I knew it. Or, was I to pull myself together, count it joyful and take this event and make sure that my dear husband didn’t die in vain. That what he stood for wouldn’t be trampled on in the mud of violence, hate, and misguided fortunes.”
I just simply was in awe at what this little lady had told me on the street that day. I counted myself privelaged to be able to talk with her. And, as I helped her the rest of the way to her destination, I was thinking that she was feeble and in need of assistance. But, truth be told, she was stronger than I could have ever imagined. To take that hurt and pain, turn it upside down and make something positive out of it. How? I don’t think if ever confronted with this situation that I would be able to ever smile again. I am not sure that I would have wanted to. But, that is what each of our life are meant to do. We are each meant to leave a mark on the world that we cross into each and everyday. We are to pick up a cross, and bear it DAILY!! We are to take each moment and make it count for something positive. And, when passing someone on the street smile, say thank you or lend a helping hand; for in the world of such blindness, you never know what insight one may have to offer.
So I think that is all for tonight. And, until next time have a good ole glass of sweet tea with a slice of faith. More blessed, less stressed!!!!