Saturday, June 11, 2011

Someone I saw for maybe a minute, but will never forget

Thought maybe I'd petered out, didn't ya?!?
I just spent a few days reading instead of writing.

Enjoying other people's thoughts and ideas.

I absolutely marvel at how much access we have to beautiful things. Writing, art. Things former generations would have given so much to even see once, we can google whenever we want.

I also read a bit of my own old writing.

Including some beginnings of a book I once considered writing. It's on the dream list (yup an actual list I cross things off of).

It's also really scary!

The writing part would be fun. I'm a little petrified of the editing process. (I'd spend days reading and re-reading my university papers, only to have professors say things like, well it had great content, if you'd just spent a little more time editing ... !)

This here blogging business has definitely wet my appetite again for writing in general. And everyone's kind comments have bolstered my confidence.

My fav from FB:
"ok seriously i don't read much but I did just read a bit from your blog and you really should write a book!!! Holy crap you are good." (little does this commenter know, she's got a pretty unique writing style herself... straight forward and to the point just like her:)

Anyways, we'll see. (Please understand, I'm not fishing for compliment here, just considering letting a ol' shut down dream maybe start ro percolate a bit. Right now I'm having lots of fun just learning and growing from writing anything more than a grocery list:) Time and seasons right?

I really only bring it up because I happened upon a memory from last summer that I wrote in my "maybe one day I'll right a book about our experience with Aaron" file, that I wanted to share.

I had labeled it under the thought: SERVICE REFINES and BRINGS JOY

We were waiting to get off the ferry. Had left the cool coastal breeze above and rejoined the maze of vehicles below. We waited as a film of car exhaust and our own exhaustion settled upon us. I watched people milling about finding their vehicles and then I saw her. A women. Tall. About in her fifties, maybe even early sixties. She was with her son. In fact she was leading her son, probably in his thirties, by the hand to their car. He was obviously developmentally delayed. The way he followed beside her, so familiar to me, just like a toddler. He had on a funny helmet, that looked like it was designed to lessen incoming stimulus. I could also tell he was wearing an adult diaper. He obviously relied on her one hundred percent. She helped him in the car, his broad body visibly hard to heft, yet, she buckled him up just like a child.

And then...just as my mind began to race, and my emotions were about to surge contemplating the stress and strain, the physical and emotional burdens such a caregiver would have faced for all those years, day after day, moment to moment, diaper to diaper...

Then she looked back. And I was stunned. The moment she turned, I realized I was looking at one of THEE happiest faces I had ever seen! She wasn't smiling AT anyone. She was just smiling (at life?) Just a beautiful, glowing smile, that emanated from her whole face, especially her serene eyes, trimmed in wrinkles; not in careworn-downward-lines (I had felt her so justified in possessing), but creased with the kind of crinkles only often-and-easy-smiling can produce.

I realized looking at her countenance, so void of any gloom or self-pity--in one moment, in one view of this stranger, I comprehended how caring for another person that completely, giving that much undaunted and constant service is such a great opportunity to find amazing joy--a discovery and a gift that could come in no other way.

I wanted to run to her and tell her how in just one moment she had changed me.
But the ferry docked, and now instead I write this and remember.

I wish I could tell her how inspiring she was to me. I thought of her again when I heard Julie B Beck say "with the challenge comes the opportunity!"

All our challenges have the power to either uglify our souls, leaving us bitter, worn and cold. Or they can fill us with beauty, grace and a serenity. They can grant us a countenance more like our Savior's. See Alma 5:14 They can give us the joy I saw on that woman's face last summer.

A face, and a lesson I will never forget.


Marie said...Best Blogger Tips

What a beautiful experience to have had. How uplifting! How empowering! How inspiring!

I'm so glad you shared that.

Jennifer said...Best Blogger Tips

oooh. that was a good story. I feel such a yearning now to be so happy in all my challenges. thatnkyou. and the bit about your writing vs editing... no worries. that's why they have professional editors. you just do the free writing part. and you're so darn good about saying it like it is. don't let grammar and puctuation get in your way. heck, i'd like to see a book published with all the typos in it. it makes it feel all "teh" more real, as if the printed type actually were in the person's own handwriting. liek reading a journal.