I look at this picture and think, “My goodness, they’re just babies.” (My second thought is: “Why did I put racing stripes in my hair?”)
This is Zach Sobiech.
Maybe you have heard his story. If not, you aren’t going to want to miss it. It’s one of those really, really, really special stories that gets you Uh! right there. You’ll likely be thinking about him the rest of the day, and that won’t be a bad thing. Not at all.
Zach, much to my disheartenment, is no longer living with us here on Earth. He’s been taken; to the Place I plan to go, just not yet. But he’s left something behind, a piece of him, something we can look at and hold, to remind us that Good People Do Happen.
Perhaps you’re a bit busy right now. That’s okay. So was I. When you have twenty minutes or so to spare — or carve away, yes, I know how it is! — from the humdrum, do watch this video. I won’t attempt to sum up; it would be like trying to explain what a snowflake looks like with you having never learned words such as: beautiful, white, delicate.
Zach was fourteen when he learned he would die from terminal cancer. His story touched my heart, and I know it will touch yours, too.
*assumes you have watched the video*
How do you feel? I felt torn, if I am being honest.
On the one hand . . . well, you hear and read about the slugs and sleaze happening around the corner and on the other side, and soon enough you begin to think the world is made up of a sort of person solely bent on hurting and taking advantage of people.
The stories broadcasted and regurgitated are sordid ones, mostly about thieves, murderers, terrorists. It gets to me. I start to feel the weight of it, and so I turn off the news, I press play on the CD player in my car. I don’t want to hear it. I am not in denial — I know they’re out there — I am in defense. I must be. For in being a Mollusk Girl, if I listen to that muck too long, I start to absorb the perspective that all things Good have vacated this place. And it’s not true. It really isn’t It’s just that people are a hundred times more likely to spread the debauched and deplorable than they are to share the positive and inspirational. Why is that? beats me, only Heaven knows. But I got one. I caught with my rod, put it in my net, and I’m bringing it to you for supper. Go on now, if you haven’t already, and eat it!
Sometimes I forget how to live. Does that happen to you? I get stuck in between what Zach refers to as “the comfortable and the extreme.” Life sort of drags on for a while, and then something happens, and it’s go-go-go-wooooooo! Then it’s back to what you know, what you’re used to. Don’t get me wrong: I like what I am used to. I like knowing that, every day at 4:00 p.m. I will shut down the computer, change, head to the gym for an extremely physical workout, come home, shower, crawl into bed with a giant bowl of popcorn, Bella, and Michael, and cap off the day with a bit of fiction. This is good for me. Routine suits my lifestyle.
However . . .
it’s when life throws you a curveball and all you can do is grumble about it that comfortable becomes a problem. Life happens in the curveballs. It’s the good stuff you never saw coming. I know this now, having survived a depression I often wondered if it would kill me. Now I look forward to the bends, arcs, and drop-offs. They excite me, because I know that something unexpected is going to happen, and we need that if we are not to get stuck.
Life is a gift. It’s a SH*T load of hard work, but it IS a gift. God is patient with us. He knew when creating us He would be creating a stubborn, often un-malleable race of punks. But He wanted us, anyway, and thank Him for that.
So as I was saying . . . on the one hand it’s such a relief to meet people like Zach. Which is why it makes it so bolluxed and frustrating to lose people like Zach. I just want to ask “Why, Lord. Why did you have to take him. Can’t you see the numbers aren’t with us? If we are to battle the dark, well then, Lord, you must leave us some bit of Light.”
Zach is Light. There’s no questioning it. I never met him, but I feel as though I did, a little. I will remember his story, always. And that’s where maybe, possibly, perhaps I can understand. Maybe. That, in knowing Zach, and seeing how he determined to face-off with mortality, I will become the Light. I will spread it, and it will catch, and soon enough the world could be one GIANT Christmas tree, blinding the eyes of all who look upon it. We could, you know. We could do that. Zach proved it.
Last thing: Zach is my reminder that I have a responsibility to not just accept my life, but to change others’ lives by bringing joy and hope and love to them. I am capable of that. I have it in me, Zach did too, and so do you. We just have to share it.
Until next time . . .
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SO long, is right . . . my goodness, it feels like a century has passed since the last time I sat down to compose a post! I think I actually saw a spider crawl across my screen when I opened WordPress . . .
An open letter to Victoria's Secret regarding their choice to make an underwear line aimed at young teenagers. (Read about it here)
Dear Victoria's Secret,
I am a father of a three year old girl. She loves princesses, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and drawing pictures for people. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, cheese and pistachios.
A short story, fresh from the second row of the aimlessly extravagant corn field.
Priscilla Lemonluck could feel a stranger sitting on her face. Its name, Consternation. The usually smooth swath between her black feathery eyebrows was puckery, too tight, and strained; her thick lips — voluntarily distorted to bespeak the emotions she harbored — hung heavy to the left. At the back of her two front teeth is where she rested her tongue, sliding it in and out of the sizable crevice she’d opted not to correct with the suggested four years of braces. It wasn’t the pain she feared (although Cooper Lyons, her best friend and three-houses-down-next-door neighbor, had mentioned more than once after a tightening that it was like having an angry barracuda, a chain-link fence, and a rubber slingshot living in your mouth all at once). Dreadful as all that sounded, Priscilla wouldn’t have minded the gruesome reconstruction of her mouth if what she wanted was to have teeth that looked like everyone else’s. She didn’t want that, though. Not even a little. And so, at the age of nine and three-quarters, Priscilla determined with arbitrary zeal that her teeth were off the table (at the tim she didn’t quite know what that meant, but on enough occasions had heard her father, Judge Lemonluck, use the phrase — this usually accompanied by an austere scowl or impassive hand — to understand it meant strictly and formidably NO) once and for all. These teeth of hers had personality and character — something that would surely be mitigated with reparative orthodontics.
This is neither here nor there, however. Priscilla fancied a real problem: missing socks.
Yesterday morning, as I was making a few laps around the blogosphere, I noticed a curious but auspicious looking symbol in the upper left quadrant of my screen. It was a trophy cup. Many of you, I’m sure, have received this same icon, and were thereupon congratulated. For those of you who have been plugging away at this immeasurably gratifyingly though fiscally unremunerative hobby for less than three hundred and sixty five days will be asking yourselves why there was call for congratulations. Well, maybe now you’re not wondering; but just in case . . .
It was my one year anniversary.
You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
I sort of just sat there for a moment, staring at the screen but not really seeing it. And I stayed that way — reflecting — for a while, Briefly I contemplated drafting up a post, then in the end decided against it. You know how some mornings are like that: you wake up, see the task at hand and think, “Oh, geez, I just don’t have the energy for this.” And then a different day, with a different set of moods and feelings changes your entire outlook, in which you fix your eyes upon the exact same task and see not a challenge or a burden, but an assignment drawing your inclinations outward. I do love how life works that way.
So, for any of you who’d like to take a gander at my first post ever, here it be:
If not, I take no offense whatsoever . . . though you will not be receiving the delicious virtual white-chocolate macadamia not cookies I baked this morning. Ball’s in your court.
I had other plans for this post, what with it being the End Of The World today. However, something more important’s come up.
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Kim, over at silentlyheardonce.wordpress.com, surprised me a week or so ago by presenting me with this very unexpected award. Kim writes lovely poetry, born of a passionate soul. She writes honestly and openly, sharing her thoughts without fear. Also, she supports her followers by consistently re-blogging their material. Her blog is one I enjoy on many occasion. Just do it. Go visit her, and tell her I said hello, please.
When I say I don’t feel worthy of accepting this award, it is not an act of self-deprecation, but truly a sense of genuine unworthiness. This is because, as of late, I have neither engaged in blogging, nor have I been diligent in reading very many blogs. Some of you will know my plate is a bit full right now, and some days I have just enough energy to smile and remind myself that God is Good. He is Good and His will is divine.
That said, I am astoundingly honored, Kim, so thank you!
From the creators of the award:
The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!
You will find all of the info plus the Awards with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 stars upon them here
I think that if we were a little more ourselves and little less the people we think our peers want us to be, we might come quite close to knowing what whole feels like.
Just a thought that’s been roaming around this ever-tumultous mind.
Speaking of which . . . the other day, while administering needles into my naked bum, my acupuncturist says to me, “You must slow down. Your brain is always three steps ahead of your body.” Out loud, I murmured a noncommittal assent and pledged to try and downshift more often; however, in my three-steps-ahead-mind, I thought, “Lady, you have no idea.” (I think she heard me, though, because the next needle went deeeep.)
Sometimes the heart just needs to bleed out words. And so I did, tonight.